Posted by: cassymuronaka | October 19, 2010

Utah loves Halloween

One thing that was clear when I visited my friend Sherri Haab in Utah last month: her state loves tricks and treats all year long.

Never ones to miss a chance to enjoy anything remotely over-the-top, the two of us made one last shopping swoop on the way to the Salt Lake City airport for my return trip to Los Angeles. At Sherri’s suggestion, we hit Gardner Village, in West Jordan, which turned out to be passionately Halloween-happy.

We immediately honed in on Sweet Afton’s candy store, which on a weekday surprisingly was packed with old ladies and young mothers with strollers, all stocking up like it was the last place on earth to find sugar. Truthfully, it was an impressive candy store; more like and endless carbohydrate bazaar. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a large flavor selection of malted milk balls and fudge. I did buy a few of those malt balls, but I am still regretting that I didn’t break down and grab a jar caramel apple sugar, designed to sprinkle “over toast, bagels and coffee.” Sherri, however, did not forget to buy a pound of fudge.

Gardner Village was a testament to the increasing popularity of Halloween in general. Not only was there at least one non-tacky store completely devoted to the holiday, but most of the inventory of other shops was heavily dominated by Halloweenabilia, whether it was quilting supplies, home furnishing or gift items.

But more than anything, Gardner Village was full of witches: witches hanging off of buildings, witches stirring cauldrons, and if possible, there was a larger variety witch hats available throughout the village than malted milk balls. And for the entire month of October, one can receive an “Extreme Witch Makeover” at the Cottage Retreat Day Spa in Gardner Village, which part of me is very sorry to have missed.

I didn’t get that makeover, and I didn’t get the caramel apple sugar, but that “Don’t Make Me Get the Flying Monkeys” sign is hanging on my studio door now.

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