Halloween is different this year because it is organized, with a pageant and fair.
The Halloween change is a result of a prank played on two Maycomb ladies by a group of children on Halloween night. It was severe enough that it resulted in Heck Tate creating a change in Maycomb policy.
Until then, Halloween in Maycomb was a completely unorganized affair. Each child did what he wanted to do, with assistance from other children if there was anything to be moved … (Ch. 27)
Two ladies, commonly referred to as Miss Tutti and Frutti Barber, were sisters living in “the only Maycomb residence boasting a cellar.” On Halloween, a group of children broke into their house when they were asleep and, since they were basically deaf, were able to steal all of their furniture and hide it in the basement. The ladies, who had real names (Sarah and Frances), swore that it was no one from Maycomb, but Heck Tate figured out the truth and decided to keep the kids of Maycomb out of trouble the next year.
Tate arranged for the ladies of Maycomb to design some festivities for Halloween night.
The high-school auditorium would be open, there would be a pageant for the grown-ups; apple-bobbing, taffy-pulling, pinning the tail on the donkey for the children. There would also be a prize of twenty-five cents for the best Halloween costume, created by the wearer. (Ch. 27)
All of the children in the town perform in Mrs. Grace Merriweather’s pageant entitled “Maycomb County: Ad Astra Per Aspera,” which basically describes the county’s agriculture. Scout plays a ham. It is on that fateful night that Scout misses her cue, loses her shoes, and the children get attacked by Bob Ewell trying to get home. Boo Radley, always looking out for them, is there to come to their rescue and kills Bob Ewell to save the day, but Jem’s arm is broken. So for Scout and Jem, this was definitely a Halloween to remember!