Raymond Perez had his candy ready, plenty of electricity and a sidewalk mostly cleared of storm debris, but Hurricane Wilma still frightened away most of the trick-or-treaters who usually stop by.
By twilight Monday, only three children — one dressed as Spiderman, two as Batman — had knocked on his door in suburban Doral.
“It’s a tradition,” Perez said. “You’ve got to keep it going. Put on a happy face.”
Tribute to New Orleans
While government officials urged South Florida parents to forego trick-or-treating after dark because of safety concerns following Wilma, New York styled its annual parade on New Orleans’ traditional jazz funerals.
There was a puppet of a phoenix rising from the ashes — the same symbol used in the parade after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. And representing New Orleans’ future was 10-year-old trumpeter Glenn Hall III, whose home was destroyed by the storm.
“This is great. It’s like I’m famous,” Glenn said, sporting a tuxedo, before the parade. On the float, he confidently swung his trumpet and waved to the crowd.
“With Glenn playing tonight, at least Katrina brought out something good,” said his grandmother, Landa Bunch. “We lost everything but each other and God.”
Curfews were still in effect in some South Florida cities. Florida Power & Light, the state’s largest electric utility, said Monday night about 740,000 homes and business were still blacked out by the Oct. 24 storm. The utility hopes to have all power restored in the area by mid-November.
But even in cities where the curfews had been lifted, officials worried about children being out in the night.
Bob Cole, of Miami Springs, kept his 7-year-old daughter, Celeste, at home instead of taking her trick-or-treating. “There is a lot of dangerous stuff on the street. Downed wires, hazardous debris, generators unattended,” Cole said.
In New York, the parade included evacuees from Hurricane Katrina, dressed in costume.
“When we began thinking about this year’s parade and what had happened in New Orleans we realized we were two cities that had experienced trauma,” said parade director Jeanne Fleming. “After all the grief New Orleans had, they have not been able to stage their jazz funeral. We realized we could provide the venue.”
Revelers came out for the parade dressed as devils and nuns, priests and politicians, monsters, mermaids and Marilyn Monroe. One little dachshund was dressed like a hot dog in a bun with mustard.