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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Fall for these only-in-DC Halloween happenings

Take a trip to an anti-communist pumpkin patch.
Jordan Tovin | Assistant Photo Editor
A bushel of apples wait to be plucked at the FRESHFARM Foggy Bottom Market.

There’s only so many ways to celebrate Halloween.

By the time one gets to college, they’ve done most of them — everyone’s gone trick-or-treating around their neighborhood, picked up an in-vogue costume from Spirit Halloween and carved a pumpkin from the grocery store. But while D.C. may not be known for its fabulous autumns, it still offers plenty of things to fall for this Halloween.

Whittaker Chambers’ Pumpkin Farm

Carving pumpkins is a Halloween tradition as old as the holiday itself, but let’s face it: It’s really hard to do in college. Cramped residence hall rooms guarantee the stench of pumpkin guts will linger in the air for weeks to come, and if you actually want to light the jack-o’-lantern with a candle, you may have to take it up to the roof to limit the fire hazard. But as someone whose first-year roommate left a pumpkin he carved up on the roof of Munson Hall to rot for months after the holiday, trust me when I say that’s not much of a solution either.

Instead, to get your pumpkin fix, journey about an hour north into Maryland at the Whittaker Chambers Farm, the least popular National Park Service site in the country. Chambers, the farm’s namesake, was the star anti-communist witness in one of a dozen so-called “trials of the century” in the 1900s, and he hid the documents essential to his case inside pumpkins at his farm.

The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988 but now stands basically ignored, just an unmarked pumpkin patch in the middle of rural Maryland. While you can’t go on the farm, which is now privately owned, it can still be seen from the road. The farm is a truly bizarre slice of American history, and a one-of-a-kind way to take advantage of the District’s proximity to political history while also scratching your Halloween pumpkin itch — as long as you’re not a Communist, that is.

East Saw Mill Road, Westminster, Maryland. Free to view from the road, but the property is private and cannot be entered.

Capital Candy Jar

While trick-or-treating on Embassy Row and collecting sweets from the nations of the world is a time-honored tradition among D.C. college students, there’s no need to go international to indulge in sweet treats this Halloween. Capital Candy Jar, a Kingman Park-based confectionary shop, makes in-house candies like chocolate truffles, peanut butter cups and too many gummy bear flavors to count.

The shop has taken to the call of the season, with orange, red and yellow colors adorning everything from the pretzel rods to the chocolate-covered Oreos. Plus, the shop will soon start selling what they admit is a “frightful” mix of candied blackberry and orange-flavored popcorn for Halloween. The unholy mix of sweet fruit and savory popcorn flavors is sure to expand your Halloween palette while staying true to local flavors. 

201 15th St. NE. Open Tuesday through Sunday noon to 7 p.m.

ANXO Cider

It’s hard to find a sober college student on Halloweekend — but with Halloween falling on a Tuesday this year, a break from cheap vodka mixed with CVS-brand juice after nearly a week of partying may be welcome news. 

ANXO Cider offers the cure for such ails. The D.C.-based distillers take inspiration from our neighbors across the pond in Europe and only use apples to make their spiked ciders. With a tasting room located in Brightwood, the local cidery gives you the chance to keep the party going while also satisfying your taste buds with a more seasonally appropriate beverage.

711 Kennedy St. NW. Open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday noon to 9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday noon to 10 p.m.

Fia’s Fabulous Finds

College is the time for DIY Halloween costumes — they’re a chance to show off your creativity, and perhaps more importantly, are a whole lot cheaper than their premade alternative. But just because you want to nail the decked-out pink Ken look doesn’t mean you have all the accessories needed for your costume to be Kenough. Visits to thrift stores to pick up cheap costume add-ons, are key this time of year.

Fia’s Fabulous Finds, a boutique store in Petworth, specializes in affordable, “nearly new” clothes. Fia’s also regularly hosts local D.C. artists to set up exhibitions within the crowded, pink-painted store, letting patrons find the missing piece for their Halloween costume and engage with the District’s culture in one fell swoop.

806 Upshur St. NW. Open Wednesday to Friday noon to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

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