Trick-or-Treating is a long-standing children’s Halloween tradition. From wearing fancy costumes to eating delicious candy treats, this custom delivers utter delight to children.
For most of the country, Trick-or-Treat events usually take place on the night of October 31st. However, for those of us who grew up in South Central PA, Thursday is Trick-or-Treat Night. You might not have realized it until you moved away for college or spoke to someone from another area, but Thursday Trick-or-Treat is not the norm for everyone.
More communities have joined the masses in holding Trick-or-Treat on October 31st, but neighborhoods in the area continue to celebrate this Halloween tradition on a Thursday.
If you’ve wondered why we have Trick-or-Treat on Thursdays in South Central PA, you’re not alone!
Here are three main reasons we found that communities hold Trick-or-Treat on Thursday:
- To Minimize Traffic
Each municipality must set their own Trick-or-Treat date for the best interest of the community. It can be a big challenge to ensure enough law enforcement officers to handle Trick-or-Treat night if it’s the same night as other events in the area, especially in our small, rural towns.
For example, if Halloween is on a Friday night, there might also be a football game going on. So, the police would have to juggle football traffic in addition to ensuring safety for Trick-or-Treaters.
- To Allow for Better Planning
By knowing Trick-or-Treat will be on Thursday every year, communities can plan better. It frees up the other days for additional public Halloween-related events to be held.
- To Increase Safety
Like most holidays, a lot of adult parties happen on Halloween weekend. For safety concerns, a community may move Trick-or-Treat to Thursday night to avoid potentially tragic circumstances. The National High Traffic Safety Administration says fatal crashes with a drunk driver are three times more likely to happen on Halloween than New Year’s Eve.
According to recent statistics, fatalities due to drunk driving on Halloween night are increasing annually. For example, the NHTSA reports there were 38 drunk-driving fatalities on Halloween in 2011, but this number increased to 55 by 2015. Sadly, this number is expected to be higher in 2017 if the current trend continues. Moving Trick-or-Treating to Thursday evening allows parents to feel more confident their child will be safe.
List of Communities with Trick or Treat on Thursday, October 26th 2017
East Hanover Township
Lower Paxton Township
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