(ABC4) – It won’t be long before child-sized ghouls and goblins hit the streets, armed with their pillowcases and Jack-O-Lantern-shaped plastic buckets, going from door to door threatening tricks if not given treats by those who answer their knocks.
This bizarre-sounding practice is better known as trick or treating, one of the most beloved rituals on Halloween.
However, since Oct. 31 falls on a Sunday this year, which is also a school night, many are wondering if trick-or-treating should be done on Saturday instead.
To ask local community leaders, they’re predicting that both nights will see their share of door-knockers. They’re not going to deter folks from celebrating the occasion, which isn’t a federally recognized holiday, however they choose.
In Provo, for example, representatives from Mayor Michelle Kaufusi’s office confirmed to ABC4 that she won’t say either way if residents should be trick-or-treating on Saturday or Sunday.
Turner Bitton, who serves as the Community Council Chair for the Glendale neighborhood in Salt Lake City, believes both weekend days will see little pirates and mummies and whatever else kids wear for Halloween costumes roaming around in his neck of the woods.
“I think we’ll have a little bit on both days,” he says to ABC4.com. “There might not be a ton of trick-or-treaters though with COVID still hanging around.”
Bitton adds that many of his neighborhood’s ‘truck or treats,’ which is the practice of filling a car truck with decorations and candy for a parking lot full of festive vehicles and children to enjoy, won’t be held this year.
However, even with the pandemic’s effects still lingering, Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated that children and families can feel safe heading out to fill their bags with goodies.
“I think that, particularly if you’re vaccinated, you can get out there and enjoy it,” the nation’s top infectious disease expert said on national television last weekend.
“This a is a time that children love,” Fauci continued. “It’s a very important part of the year for children.”
Fauci’s statement is an improvement from 2020, when federal health agencies discouraged trick-or-treating nationwide.
In 2021, some parents, especially of local families, may wish for their children to go trick-or-treating a day earlier. Reasons could be because it’s a school night on Sunday, Oct. 31, while some may wish to refrain from such activities for religious reasons. Many members of the area’s predominant faith, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are steadfast in upholding the sabbath day principle.
Either way, it may be practical for homeowners to be prepared on both Saturday and Sunday for costume-clad, candy-crazy children pounding on their doorbells, and in probably a few cases, ringing the doorbell way too many times.
Further east, Sugar House Community Council Chair Landon Clark says he’ll be passively serving his neighborhood on Saturday and will probably be a bit more engaged in the Halloween fun on Sunday. On the first day of the weekend, he’ll be away from his home, cheering on the Utah football team when the Utes play UCLA at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
“I’m guessing there will be more on Saturday,” he projects. “But I’ll just leave a bowl out on my porch.”
Regardless of which day trick-or-treaters go out and haunt their neighborhoods – it’s humorous to imagine some might advantageously go out twice – one general rule of the longstanding tradition will hold true:
Whichever house has the full-size candy cars will be the most popular one on the street.