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The Beauty of a Small Town on Halloween


Larry Maguire, Far Niente President and CEO, enjoys a long tradition of spending Halloween in the Napa Valley town of St. Helena, and in this blog post, he shares why.

I’ve been in Napa Valley nearly my entire life. My family moved north to Napa from Fullerton, California when I was 14. After a short stint in the Bay Area after college, I moved back to Napa Valley, first to Yountville. Karen and I later moved to St. Helena when our children were born, and we have now been here for 24 years. I know, some of you wonder how I can stand the 15-minute commute down valley to Oakville every day. Well, I suffer through it.

I was thinking about the wonders of our small town Monday night as Karen and I debated how we should spend Halloween evening. Our home is removed from foot traffic so we knew there would be no trick-or-treaters knocking on our door. If we wanted to get into the Halloween spirits (pun intended) we would need to dress up and head to town.

I should tell you that St. Helena has a long-standing reputation for great Halloween spirit. Trick-or-treating in town with our children when they were small was magical. It wasn’t unusual to see parents walking with wine glasses like children with candy bags. The homes of every vintner in St. Helena (and there are many) offered treats in the glass for mom and dad. Then the kids would go off to bed and we would head off to Terra to enjoy Chef Hiro’s great food and to take in the costume artistry that resides within his wife Lissa. While our kids have long left home, Karen and I still need to head to Terra to enjoy Halloween.

Terra never disappoints, and Monday night Lissa and the entire staff were in costume. Lissa always sets the bar higher each year for great costumes. This year’s Mrs. Potato Head gets very high marks. You’ll notice that some faded, old rock star paid a visit and even Marie Antoinette pulled it together enough to eat cake. I’ll never reveal their true identities …

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