Early trick or treat date sparks controversy


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – When should municipalities hold trick or treat? It’s a question that’s been sparking debate in the Midstate.

Lower Paxton officials say having trick or treat on the fourth Thursday of October has been a tradition in Dauphin County for decades. But when parents realized the month had a fifth Thursday that falls on Halloween itself, they had to reconsider.

“A lot of people signed a petition and got on Facebook and social media and have been discussing why isn’t it on Halloween?” township communications manager Leigh Ann Urban said.

Hundreds of people signed that petition. So, the township’s board of supervisors voted to change the date of trick or treating to Halloween.

“This is just for this year, not for future years,” Urban said.

Urban says the reason trick or treat is always on the fourth Thursday is so local police departments are on the same page.

“It was a public safety issue,” Urban said. “It was decided by the Dauphin County Chiefs of Police Association.”

Other municipalities, like Derry and West Hanover townships, are making the switch, too.

Dauphin County police chiefs met Wednesday to discuss safety for this year.

While some families feel strongly about the date, others are just excited for the festivities.

“To me, it doesn’t matter, but I think a lot of people want it on Halloween,” said Patty Noss, of Lower Paxton Township. “I think it’s good because a lot of people are asking for that.”

Although the date has changed, the time for trick or treating remains the same. It’s from 6-8 p.m.

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