Monday, October 25, 1999

Municipalities plan Sunday Halloween

Municipalities plan Sunday Halloween
The Ann Arbor News
By Pamela Appea

Children know that Halloween falls on Oct. 31, but their parents may wonder whether trick-or-treating will go on as usual since that date falls on a Sunday this year.

The answer from most area municipalities is yes.

Most officials said that the fact Halloween falls on a Sunday this year doesn’t seem to be a problem. Neither Ann Arbor nor Ypsilanti officials said they considered switching the celebration date.

Halloween always has been celebrated on October 31 in the Ann Arbor area, said the city’s police chief.

However, Chief Carl Ent said there will be one change this year. The city will push up official trick-or-treating hours from 5-8 p.m. from the regular 6-9 p.m.

Ent said ordinarily city police suggest that trick-or-treating hours begin at 6 p.m., so parents can come home from work in time to accompany their children on the rounds.

But he said the city figured this year that most parents would want to start and finish candy collecting earlier so families would have enough time to get ready for school and work Monday morning.

The community appears satisfied with the arrangement.

“On the one hand, it might make sense to have it Saturday. On the other hand, Halloween usually falls on a weekday,” said Carol Shulman, co-president of the district-wide PTO Council in the Ann Arbor Public schools.

She added that most parents are used to the time crunch and the fact they will be trick-or-treating in the dark.

“I’m not sure that the community could switch Halloween,” she said.

Ypsilanti plans Halloween hours to coincide with Ann Arbor, though downtown businesses will have their traditional give-away from Friday from 5-7 p.m.

In Livingston County, Halloween scheduling sparked protest among Brighton residents after Brighton City Council change Halloween trick-or-treating hours to Oct. 30.

But council reversed its decision on Thursday, restoring the traditional Oct. 31 trick-or-treating.

Only Livingston County’s Pickney Village still plans Oct. 30 Halloween hours.

Many area church officials say they haven’t tried to influence when Halloween is celebrated.

“We can’t expect any other changes or any sort of respect for Sunday. It’s nothing new and it’s nothing that surprises us,” said the Rev. Norbert Rodriguez, youth pastor at Bethesda Bible Church in Ypsilanti.

Rodriguez said his church will set up a fall festival for Halloween, so that children will have something else to do that night.

In Chelsea, where Halloween trick-or-treating is organized by Kiwanis Club members, officials did discuss whether Halloween should be observed on Sunday or Saturday this year,” said Police Chief Leonard McDougall.

But Kiwanis members finally decided toward the end of September that Halloween celebrations should stay on Oct. 31.

“It wasn’t a big deal,” McDougall said.

Halloween last fell on a Sunday five years ago in 1993.

Originally published Monday, October 25, 1999