Caetani centre doles out treats

Artist relives the days of when Sveva Caetani handed out delectable treats from her Vernon mansion on Halloween.

Artist David Goodliffe

Artist David Goodliffe

Back in the 1960s, Sveva Caetani, along with family companion Miss Juul, distributed home-made bright orange candy bags, filled with fine Belgian chocolates, to Halloween trick-or-treaters.

Children of all ages braved the leafy, dark driveway at 3401 Pleasant Valley Rd. to get the best candy in town.

To this day, they reminisce about those halcyon times when “the witches” opened their doors to the community.

Now, in 2011, “the witches” have been replaced by Professor Silly (alias David Goodliffe, one of the studio artists on site.) When he opens his studio door to the children who knock on Saturday at the Caetani Cultural Centre’s Lantern Festival, he’ll dole out bags crafted by seniors at Carrington and Abbeyfield House.

They’ll contain fudge made by Poohs ‘n’ Beans and chocolate by Cotton’s in downtown Vernon – both on a par with any from Belgium. Purdy’s have donated candy too.

But candy is only a small part of the treats in store for families this Saturday.

There will be jugglers, fortune tellers, music makers, actors, food vendors, games and free mulled apple cider.

Those wishing to join the parade that winds through Vernon to the Caetani centre can meet at The Hub, adjacent to the Towne Theatre on 30th Avenue. The parade will set off at 6 p.m. and an evening of enchantment and magic is promised to follow.

Visit for more details.

–– Christine Pilgrim is a resident of the Caetani house, and also a freelance writer/reviewer for The Morning Star.