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The windy and rainy side effects of Hurricane Sandy have prompted a number of communities to toy with the sometimes sensitive issue of when to have trick-or-treat.
“It would seem to be such a little issue, but people take it so seriously and everyone has a strong opinion as to when it should be,” said Northwood City Administrator Bob Anderson.
Northwood was among some 18 northwest Ohio communities that decided to postpone the Halloween tradition until this weekend because of the weather.
Northwood officials consulted with the school superintendent before settling on 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday for trick-or-treat. The undefeated Northwood Rangers are taking on Patrick Henry High School in a Division V first-round football playoff game on Saturday night.
“You couldn’t imagine the phone calls we would’ve gotten if we would’ve said trick-or-treat was Saturday,” Mr. Anderson said.
Walbridge Village Council planned to hold a special meeting this morning to officially change trick-or-treat time from today to 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
“By Monday evening as you could see the weather coming in, it just made sense that to have the little ones out and about on Wednesday evening would be dangerous,” said Councilman Sue Hart-Douglas, who chairs the parks and recreation committee. “With the rain, the wind, the cold, we thought it was better to delay.”
In other cities, officials talked about postponing but ultimately decided against it.
Toledo, Sylvania, Holland, and Perrysburg were among those that will have trick-or-treat today, come what may.
“The weather is the weather,” said Jen Sorgenfrei, spokesman for Toledo Mayor Mike Bell. “We’ve never changed it in the past, and we’ve had rain and wind before. What’s to say it won’t be windy or rainy on Saturday if we postpone it until then?”
In Bowling Green, Assistant Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter also said the city planned to leave well enough alone and keep trick-or-treat from 6:30 to 8 p.m. today.
In 2004, then-Mayor John Quinn came under fire for moving trick-or-treat to afternoon hours on Oct. 30, which he thought would be preferable to the evening when there were sporting events or to Oct. 31 which fell on a Sunday that year. City Council ultimately decided to reverse the mayor's decision and hold trick-or-treat on Oct. 31 in the evening, after dark.
Rossford opted to move its trick-or-treat times to 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, which didn’t bother Amy Sarantou at all. The Sylvania woman said her family traditionally goes to her parents’ home in Rossford for a Halloween feast followed by trick-or-treating as a family.
“It’s all about safety and what’s best for the children,” she said. “They would be miserable if we get the weather they’re expecting plus there wouldn’t be the same turnout. ... I’m glad they changed it to be honest because I know it wouldn’t have been as fun.”
Contact Jennifer Feehan at:firstname.lastname@example.org 419-724-6129.