Civic rules about Trick or Treating

What do you do when you Trick or Treat?
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Civic rules about Trick or Treating

Post by Murfreesboro » Thu Oct 26, 2023 11:37 am

I've been surprised, on this visit to Columbus, OH, to discover that this town has strict rules about ToTing. If Oct 31 falls on a Mon, Tues, Weds, or Thurs, the kids ToT on the 31rst. But if Halloween falls on a Fri, Sat, or Sun, they have to ToT on the Thurs before. I thought that was so weird. In the South, there are (or used to be) rules about not ToTing on Sunday, but those have relaxed in recent years. Sometimes if the weather is awful they will put it off until Nov 1. But this rigid proscription against ToTing on the weekends I've never heard of before.

Also the kids have to ToT between 6 and 8 pm. I've never encountered that before, either. At home, people start at dusk (usually c 5:40) and might go on until 9 pm or later if the weather is good, especially on the weekends.

Otherwise, Ohio seems to have lots of Halloween activities in Oct, like most metro areas. The zoo had lots of fun decorations yesterday, but the Boo at the Zoo thing happens only on the weekends. Still, I saw lots of young ones in costumes.

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Re: Civic rules about Trick or Treating

Post by TheHeadlessHorseman » Thu Oct 26, 2023 5:59 pm

Man, that sucks.

Where I live we always went trick-or-treating on Halloween night, no matter what night of the week it was on, and what the weather conditions were. When I was in grade 4 there was a meeting at school, and they wanted to change it so that we would go trick-or-treating on the last Sat. before Halloween, they had a few reasons for this, the main reason being that they didn't want kids out late on a school night.

While we were at the meeting, as soon as the guy on stage told us what they wanted to do, and I swear to you that I won't ever forget this moment, a girl named Pamela jumped out of her seat and yelled, OVER MY DEAD BODY! The crowd erupted with laughter, and for a few minutes people were loudly expressing their opinions on the topic, and when the meeting was over, they voted to leave the holiday the way it is and they didn't ever bring it up again.

As for trick-or-treating hours, traditionally it has always been 6-9pm around here. When I was a young kid, sometimes kids and teens would show up after 9pm and that was perfectly acceptable back then. My wife and I still do this now, as she will hand out candy until 9pm, and I usually try to have the girls trick-or-treating until 9pm, but we have both noticed that the trick-or-treating usually stops at around 8pm now.

There could be a few reasons for this, some people run out of candy and close up early, or the kids have done the whole neighborhood by 8pm and go home early, or there are just less kids out there trick-or-treating. I have noticed when I'm with the girls that there are definitely less kids out there now, at least in our area, and the areas that we went trick-or-treating the last few years.

Something else that we noticed is that some parents with younger kids will bring them trick-or-treating earlier in the day, around 3-5pm. While there is a part of me that thinks this is cheating a kid out of experiencing Halloween the way it was meant to be, I also understand that the world we live in today is far more dangerous than when I was growing up, so if the parents want to go out during the day that's fine, as long as the kids still get to enjoy the holiday, and they are safe and happy.

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Re: Civic rules about Trick or Treating

Post by Murfreesboro » Fri Oct 27, 2023 10:03 am

I don't like daylight ToTing, which I think happens a lot out in CA. The rationale is that it's safer than ToTing in the dark. But only the night will do for me, and I think most folks in my area agree. The younger kids tend to come by earlier, but still in the twilight or after dark. Of course, in Middle TN, the sun sets before 6 in late Oct, even in Daylight Saving Time. When we switch back to Standard Time in Nov, the sun will set before 5.

In Murfreesboro, and I'm sure in most areas, there is ToTing throughout the last couple of weeks of Oct.
I've already seen costumed kids ToTing in commercial areas like shopping centers, and Boo at the Zoo happens on weekends throughout Oct. Churches schedule their fall festivals and Trunk or Treats before Halloween. The Parks and Rec dept runs a Halloween carnival before the big day.

Once, when my boys were in grade school, a group of parents who disapproved of Halloween scheduled a concert at the school on Halloween night. I believe the band they scheduled was a country/western group called Riders in the Sky. I wouldn't have minded hearing them, but not on Halloween. Hardly anyone showed up for it. So the alternative Halloween event was a flop.

There's no hard and fast rule about ToTing in Murfreesboro, but I think most people are done by 8, especially on a school night. On a weekend during nice weather, it can run until 9 or 9:30, but we usually stop answering the door at 9.

The only time ToT was moved to Nov 1 in my memory was during an actual windstorm. The forecasters saw it coming and suggested moving ToT. One child up in Nashville who did not heed the warning actually died that night (he rode his bike over some live electrical wires that had fallen), so the call was a good one.

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Re: Civic rules about Trick or Treating

Post by Andybev01 » Fri Oct 27, 2023 10:39 pm

Last I heard, Ohio still has drive-thru liquor stores so there is that.
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Re: Civic rules about Trick or Treating

Post by Murfreesboro » Fri Oct 27, 2023 10:45 pm

So you think they're afraid everybody will be drunk on the weekends and kill the kids?

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Re: Civic rules about Trick or Treating

Post by TheHeadlessHorseman » Sat Oct 28, 2023 12:23 am

I'm thankful that they didn't ever have to postpone Halloween in my area, as I think that it has only rained here on Halloween about 4 times total in my life so far, and some kids still went out anyway, but that's the worst weather that we have had here. I know that I've heard of it snowing on Halloween in some places, the closest we ever came to that was in 2021, it didn't snow on Halloween night while kids were out, but when we got up on Nov. 1st there was snow everywhere, it was the first time in my life that it snowed that early here, as usually the earliest it starts to snow here is mid Nov. I wish that I had taken pictures that morning, as my Horseman statue covered in snow looked awesome, but I had to get to work, and by the time I got home most of the snow had melted.

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Re: Civic rules about Trick or Treating

Post by Murfreesboro » Sat Oct 28, 2023 3:17 pm

We had a frigid Halloween in 2014. It didn't snow in Murfreesboro, but the next fall I heard it had snowed in Sewanee that Halloween night of 2014. My daughter was a freshman that fall of '15, so she missed the snowy Halloween. Sewanee is on a mountaintop, so it's climate differs from ours.

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Re: Civic rules about Trick or Treating

Post by MauEvig » Sun Apr 28, 2024 8:15 pm

Just happened to notice this thread and thought I'd give my two cents.
You'd think Friday or Saturday night would actually be the ideal nights to go trick or treating on. Think about it, you trick or treat at night and then you don't have to worry about getting up early the next day. Well, at least if you work a typical Monday thru Friday job anyway.
Those rules make no sense at all. Having Halloween on a Saturday seems like a rare treat. But to constrict it to the weekdays? That's got to be hard on parents too with kids who have to get up the next morning.
"Boo at the zoo" sounds like fun. I haven't been to a zoo in a while.
I know in the past they've had 4th of July celebrations on Saturdays even if it wasn't exactly the 4th. And where I used to live they'd always have the St Patrick's Day parade the Saturday before, even if it didn't land on a Saturday that year.
"Boo Bash" was on a Thursday Night. Would have preferred a Friday night, but I suppose most teachers and staff like to be home as soon as possible on Friday to start the weekend.
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Re: Civic rules about Trick or Treating

Post by Murfreesboro » Sun Apr 28, 2024 9:21 pm

I prefer ToTing on the actual night, but there are so many options in the month of Oct now that people can pretty much choose what they want to do with their kids.

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Re: Civic rules about Trick or Treating

Post by Andybev01 » Tue Apr 30, 2024 12:38 am

I side with you on this one, Murf.

If you don't observe the ritual on the actual day you run the risk of the law of diminished returns.

"as extra units of a variable resource are added to a fixed resource, the marginal product will decline beyond some point."
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Re: Civic rules about Trick or Treating

Post by Murfreesboro » Tue Apr 30, 2024 7:27 am

Well, if the "returns" = more candy, I think some parents prefer to limit that. My husband and I were not among them.

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