Our Township phones never stopped ringing throughout the day on Halloween with urgent pleas to either keep or change the date for Trick-or-Treat. After all, the forecast was for heavy rain and wind which, according to some, would ruin the kids’ candy, soak their costumes, and create a safety hazard for everyone. And besides, a bunch of other communities in the area had decided to change theirs to Friday or Saturday.
At the same time, we got plenty of impassioned calls urging us to keep the date at October 31, usually because the resident had made arrangements which would be disrupted or would even have to be cancelled, often at considerable cost and inconvenience, if we were to switch the date.
What people didn’t realize was the question had been resolved for us a long time ago. That’s because, some years earlier, we had a very similar situation occur on Halloween and, out of an abundance of caution, we did move the Trick-or-Treat time by a couple days. At the time, we thought it was the right thing to do. But it made a lot of residents really angry, and we didn’t hear the last of it for months thereafter. That’s when our Board of Supervisors made a decision: Halloween and Trick-or-Treat would henceforth be observed on October 31 – no matter what.
A few years later, it snowed on that date, and the kids had to plow through six inches of snow to collect their candy. It turned out to be one of the most memorable Trick-or-Treat nights ever. Nobody got hurt or frostbitten, and our public safety services were out in force, just as they are now, providing an extra layer of security throughout the community.
So, notwithstanding the pleas to change our Halloween observance to some other night, we stood by the Board’s calendar decision. And in a stroke of good fortune, the rain stopped right around 6:00 – the official start of the Trick-or-Treat – allowing hundreds of happy kids to circulate through our neighborhoods, without having to wear ponchos over their costumes, and enjoy the cool but dry evening air.
Cranberry is a very busy, activity-centered community with school events, working parents, vacation schedules, and more to balance. Arbitrarily moving fixed holiday dates doesn’t do anyone a favor; it just scrambles people’s schedules. Western Pennsylvania is a four-season climate, and precipitation is just part of the normal weather cycle here. So, in Cranberry Township, tradition trumps Mother Nature.
Your feedback is always welcome. Please feel free to email me at Jerry.Andree@CranberryTownship.org