BISMARCK — Thursday, thousands of children of all ages will take to the streets across the state to go trick or treating — but what if that no longer happened on Halloween?
Well, that could actually happen sooner than you think.
“You’re guaranteed a better day of the week in terms of timing and people’s schedule out and about, so that makes sense to me,” said David Pierce, owner Papa’s Pumpkin Patch.
He’s talking about possibly moving Halloween.
That’s because the Halloween & Costume Association has a petition that would have moved the date of Halloween to the last Saturday of October, just like Thanksgiving always falls on the last Thursday of November.
After intense backlash, they’ve altered the petition to create instead a national Trick or Treat day on the final Saturday of the month.
The organization said it would create a longer, safer and stress-free celebration. The new holiday would allow kids to hit the streets in the daylight and won’t leave them drowsy at school the next day because it’s the weekend.
KX News talked to parents who gave us mixed reviews on the idea…
“I think it would be nice if it was on a Saturday — take your time, spend time with the kids and family and not be in a rush, but I also like the historical feeling of the 31st of October is Halloween,” said Minot Resident Elena Hough.
“I like traditions. I don’t necessarily believe it would be safer. It would expand the time period for people to enjoy the holiday, but most of trick or treating is done early in the evening with the young children anyways so I like the tradition of October 31st,” said Bismarck Resident Trent Wangen.
“It never made sense to me why Halloween would be on a Wednesday night, or a Tuesday night, in the middle of the week it’s just harder on everybody I think,” said Dickinson Resident Chris Biasco.
The Association also said it would help adults who could enjoy the holiday without possibly having to go to work the next day drowsy or hungover.
Additionally, statistics show creating a national trick or treat day may be a good idea, the group said:
- Nearly 4,000 injuries happen every year related to trick or treating
- Over 80 percent of parents don’t use high visibility aids to make sure they and their child can be seen at night
- Over 60 percent of children don’t carry a flashlight while trick or treating and are twice as likely to be hit by a car.
- Over 10 percent of kids under the age of 5 go trick or treating without an adult.
Even though the petition has nearly 200,000 signatures, it could be an uphill battle as any new holiday would have to be approved by Congress before going into effect, meaning don’t expect this to happen anytime soon.
KX News reached out to both the mayors of Bismarck and Mandan for their thoughts on the ideas and Mandan Mayor Tim Helbling told us he supports the idea because it “would be safer and allow parents to spend more time with their children.”
We have not heard back from Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken.