Most local towns move trick-or-treating to Saturday

October 22, 2004|TODD KLEFFMAN

Perryville residents might want to stock up with some extra Halloween candy this year in case out-of-town ghouls and goblins descend on the town for some double-dipping trick-or-treat action Sunday evening.

Perryville is the only area community that is sticking with the traditional Oct. 31 date for its official Halloween observance, even though it falls on a Sunday this year. Other towns have switched their observance to Saturday night, so ambitious candy enthusiasts will be able to hit Perryville the night after they masquerade around their hometowns.

"It's open to anyone who comes between 5 and 7 p.m.," said Perryville City Clerk Mona Followell. "We tried to move it once before a few years back and caught all kinds of heck, so the council decided this year to have it on whatever day it fell on."

The idea of Halloween on Sunday has created controversy in other parts of the state and across the country, with city leaders changing their community's trick or treat time to Saturday in response to howls of protest from churches who were not amused that the so-called devil's holiday would be in direct competition with religious activities.


That issue hasn't arisen locally, however, with most towns moving Halloween observance to Saturday on their own, more out of concern for safety and convenience than any pressure from churches. Even in Perryville, where trick-or-treating will take place on the real Halloween night, there have been no complaints, Followell said.

"It's not a big deal to us," said Judy Underwood, volunteer director of youth ministries at Perryville Baptist Church. "The city can have it on Sunday, but we didn't want to have Halloween to conflict with our Sunday services."

Perryville Baptist will hold a fall festival from 5-8 p.m. Oct. 30, featuring a trunk-or-treat where members distribute goodies from their cars in the church parking lot.

Downtown activities planned

Danville, Harrodsburg and Stanford all have downtown Halloween activities planned Saturday evening that are partially responsible for the cities' moving their residential trick-or-treating to coincide with those events.

Julie Wagner, executive director of Heart of Danville, said the organization decided to hold its event from 5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 30 to get more downtown merchants to participate and police cooperation in blocking off streets. About 25 downtown Danville businesses will be handing out treats this year, she said.

"The merchants didn't really want to come in on a Sunday night to give away candy," Wagner said, adding that the event is growing in popularity, especially among parents of young trick-or-treaters, with about 1,000 people attending last year.

Harrodsburg First Director Amy Sparrow said her organization decided to move its Main Street event to Saturday evening, mostly for safety reasons. Harrodsburg has several large churches downtown, Sparrow said, and traffic from Sunday night services would have created a hassle and safety concerns for the 1,000 people expected to show up downtown for Harrodsburg First activities.

"We wanted to have the safest activities possible for our kids," Sparrow said.

In Liberty, there are no special activities scheduled, just the traditional door-to-door parade of costumed kids, said Mayor Steve Sweeney. The City Council decided last week to hold trick-or-treat on Saturday on "common sense," not because of any outcry from churches, Sweeney said.

"Sunday night is a school night and a church night, so we thought we'd avoid any conflict," he said. "We might have gotten some complaints if we decided to have it Sunday, but Saturday just seemed like the best time for everybody. I don't think it makes any difference to the kids, as long as they get to go trick-or-treating."

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