Postponing Trick-or-Treat

Some communities decided to postpone their residents' observation of Halloween for their children... and it was the right decision.

 This is my own opinion, not the position of the station, not a news story, just my personal Blog.

I got the phone call on Monday afternoon.  One of the valley's majors wanted to know how bad the weather was going to be Tuesday evening.

A high wind advisory had already gone into effect from Monday noon through Tuesday at 5 p.m. He wanted to know if the winds would die or if any  "children might blow away".  Although he was joking, he was absolutely correct to be concerned.

As we all saw, Tuesday was a wet, raw day, filled with near freezing temperatures, continuing rain, and winds that continued to gust, even though the advisory was dropped early.

I told him I couldn't make the call, but he wasn't asking for that.  He hadn't made a decision yet, but was looking at the options, including Wednesday evening, or Thursday evening.  He correctly saw that "Church Night" wouldn't be acceptable, and Thursday was going to be a new month.

Within a few hours, he had consulted with the other mayors and some of them had come up with a  plan.  We were informed that they were delaying trick-or-treat until Thursday evening.

Judging from some of the comments that have been freely posted on the trick-or-treat listings, some people cannot see changing the dates for observing Halloween, or conducting Trick-or-Treat.

But it's important to realized that despite what some people claim, Halloween is not a major religious holiday.  It's a social convention that we chose to conduct at various dates.

An example of this is the Halloween block party conducted in Athens.  Every year, this bacchanalia is set for the Saturday night that falls closest to Halloween.  As a result, the city also tries to insulate the children's trick-or-treat on the Thursday before the block party.  And it works.

So, when the mayors and other city officials decide to delay the children's trick or treat, or beggar's night, as it is also known, they are right.

I recall one of my first Halloween, dressed as a tiger with a long droopy tail. (Think of the pink bunny suit in the movie "A Christmas Story".)  In the wet, damp night of that Beggar's Night long ago, the tail dragged through puddles, and my paper sack collected candy soaked through and ripped out the bottom.  I lost a great deal of loot that night.

So, I can appreciate the concern and the safety issues that prompted the decision to delay.

This is not to criticize those communities who decided to continue with Tuesday's plans.  After all, there are some   plans and operations that can't be delayed, either because they are too labor intensive, too complicated, or will loose their appeal due to the delay.

So, when some communities stuck to their guns, I was a little surprised, but upon reflection, I can see why it has to happen.  I'm just sorry that all those kids would be so wet and cold, but I know that the appeal of candy and fascination with the night will make it a strong memory for them.

Just as I still remember that night of the tiger.

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