John Bagby says his career as a cotton candy maker started as a lark, but it has developed into a Dalton Halloween tradition.

“My kids wanted to do something different for Halloween, so I bought a machine. It just grew from there,” said Bagby.

For the past 30 years, Bagby has passed out cotton candy to the children who come trick or treating at his house, and he says it’s a big hit.

“They don’t even put in their bag. They eat it right there,” he said.

Bagby says more than 400 children showed up at his door last year for some of the feathery treat, which his daughters and other family members help give out.

“Last year, we had someone who told us he drove up from Atlanta. He came up just for cotton candy with his little girls. He had come here when he was a child,” said Babgy’s daughter Kim. “The last three years we have been getting more double and triple generations. People will bring their children or grandchildren and they’ll tell us they came here when they were kids.”

Kim flew in for California this year to help out. She says she never misses a chance to help out her dad and see some old friends.

“Even back in July, people were telling me on my Facebook ‘I wouldn’t miss your dad’s cotton candy,’” she said.

John Bagby says making cotton candy is pretty simple. All he has to do is pour sugar and a small amount of floss, a powder that gives the candy flavor and color, into the machine. It melts the sugar and spins it out into wispy threads. Then he twirls a paper cone around inside the bowl until it has collected enough. The entire process takes just a few minutes.

Depending upon how many children come by, he uses about 10 to 15 pounds of sugar each year.

“Kids love it,” said daughter Melissa.

She recalled growing up with the only cotton candy machine around.

“I remember when I was in high school a girl that I knew and I made some and put it in a big bag and put it in the back seat of our car and drove around like kids used to do eating it,” she said.

“I remember sometimes when I was in high school and my dad would lend it out for Catamount games, and I’d see him and my uncle handing out cotton candy at the games,” said Kim.

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