The Big Story Blog

Trick-or-treating in a the history-making Halloween snow

Posted at 3:28 PM on October 31, 2011 by Molly Bloom
Filed under: Climate, History, Weather

On the 20th anniversary of the historic 1991 Halloween snowstorm, we're sharing stories from our Public Insight Network sources and Facebook followers. Here's one:


"These photos were taken in north Minneapolis on the 5200 block of Irving, actually next door to the house I lived in, since we didn't go much further trick or treating," writes Taylor Dahlin of Minneapolis.

"The kids in the photo all grew up on the same block. I'm the one in the mouse hat, the other two girls are sisters, Kayla and Mallory Pearson. The boy, Ben Wood, is dressed up as a ninja turtle, with a bucket around his neck as a shell! I don't have too many memories, just because we only went to a few houses that night."

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Here's another trick-or-treating story from Marc Asch of North Oaks:

That morning, I was mowing the law. As I neared the end, the snow began to fall. I put the mower away and watched the snow begin to cover the lawn and surrounding woods.

Susan, my wife, was working at the Children's Hospital Emergency Room and our two girls, Rebecca,12, and Sarah, 14, were at school. When the girls got home, we began getting organized for Halloween. Susan came home as the depth passed six inches. The snow continued to pile up but Susan and the girls were not to be deterred from going Halloweening. Luckily, my wife was driving a Jeep Cherokee at the time which was well suited for the storm. I was left behind to greet any Halloweeners who came through the storm.

We live in a wooded area with long winding driveways, but Susan and the girls mushed through the drifts in 4-wheel drive, collecting record amounts of Halloween loot from homeowners facing caloric disaster from otherwise undistributed candy. They reported a few other Jeep-loads of children piloted by hardy Minnesota soccer-Moms who were determined not to let their offspring fall behind in the great candy-collection marathon. The addition of moonboots to the costumes did not deter the goblins, small and large, from plowing through drifts at speed. Our girls were in Renaissance Festival gowns with snowboots replacing sandals. The skirts collected snow as they made their way up the walks to the front doors.

Since our driveway was partially cleared, we attracted more little looters than usual, and I was finally reduced to handing out apples. I considered a run to Cub, but even our excellent city snowplows were losing the battle with the torrent of flakes.

The snow continued to pile up and we attacked the driveway with our snowblower repeatedly. Susan returned to the hospital for another ER shift while we watched the drifts grow.

She had a mug from Children's Hospital Medical Center in Washington, DC, given to her for being one of the hardy staff who made it in during their Great Presidents Day Snowstorm in 1979. We wondered if she would get another. She did.

marchasch.JPGMarc Asch and family in 1991, before the snow began to fly.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.