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Snow Still Rains on Norwalk's Trick-or-Treating

NORWALK, Conn. — Bruce DeNunzio is looking forward to a repeat of Monday's Halloween fun Saturday evening on Michael Street. So is Anthony Amato, who has taken over the family's frightful yard off Scribner Avenue. But other Halloween aficionados had some of the wind taken out of their sails by last Saturday's blowy snowstorm.

Joe Mancuzi took apart his annual Halloween haunted house Friday, dissuaded from leaving it up for Norwalk's "official" Halloween trick-or-treating by the high cost of dry ice, among other things. His neighbor, Rich Young, has a wedding to go to and had already taken down his decorations Friday afternoon. He will reopen his family's usual Halloween fun house, but he isn't expecting much.

Mayor Richard Moccia on Monday asked Norwalk residents to postpone trick-or-treating until Saturday out of concern for downed power lines and fallen tree limbs.

"They didn't cancel it here," said Kathy Young of Toilsome Avenue. "We still had kids because they canceled it too late." Mancuzi, who lives across the street, said there were so many trick-or-treaters that he went through 85 percent of his candy. Both families agreed the weather had damaged Halloween: Rich Young was disappointed that he couldn't set up the haunted house in the back yard because of the snow, and Mancuzi said a snow plow threw slush onto his display, destroying the pieces next to the road.

"He had to be going 50 mph," Mancuzi said. "Imagine my daughter was in the yard."

Mancuzi and his wife were married "on Halloween" – actually the day before so they would be able to celebrate the spooky spectacular as usual. They have lived on Toilsome Avenue for three years, coincidentally across the street from another big Halloween fan, Rich Young. Mancuzi sets up a cemetery on the yard but gives away the candy next to the road, so children have a choice about whether they want to enter the graveyard. He uses a fog machine, lasers and dry ice to enhance the ambience.

He loves Halloween, but it takes time to set all of that and to take it down. He happened to have days off this week and had planned to use them to dismantle the haunted house, so that's what he did.

"We got so many kids the other night," he said. "It's expensive, I buy a lot of dry ice ... the call came so late I had already bought everything." Dry ice is $30 a block, he said, and he buys three.

Mancuzi will hand out the candy he has left and then turn out the light.

The Amato family's front yard was still littered with tombstones Friday. Ghoulish music was playing next door, where inflatable figures danced next to an inflated organ. Amato, 18, said it's the first year he has been in charge of the family's haunted yard, a tradition going back decades on Imperial Drive – his father likes to come out of the shadows with a fake chainsaw and an uncle helps set up.

Amato said about 25 children came by Monday. "Considering that the mayor said, 'Don't go out trick or treating," that's still a substantial number for us," he said. Some years there have been more than 100.

Amato will be dressed as Michael Myers on Saturday night and his friend will be Leatherface. "I'll make it fun," he said.

Bruce DeNunzio said Monday that he was looking forward to entertaining children again Saturday and would "reset everything" in his Michael Street front yard. Friday afternoon there were rebar spikes in his front yard, the supports for his collection of tombstones. Ghosts were hanging from the windows, and cobwebs decorated the front door.

Maureen DeNunzio said the family didn't mind buying more candy. "If they came five times he would be happy. He absolutely loves doing it for the kids. He plans for it all year. He's on the Internet looking for things, new things he can buy, coming up with a new theme every year."

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