Should Halloween ALWAYS be on Saturday? The Great Pumpkin Debate!

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Many of us know the struggle that comes when October 31 falls on a weekday, as it does this year.

We rush out of work, road-raging our way through the congested streets of Tampa Bay, to get home to our young children. We quickly throw food on their plates, get them in their Halloween costumes (Lord forbid they have intricate makeup involved), frantically look for their darned pumpkin candy bag, and run out the door for trick-or-treating “fun.”

I’m exhausted just typing it.

Then the next morning, I drag them out of bed on November 1. This is the scariest part of the entire holiday. Don’t even get me started on what the poor teachers must have to deal with!

This is one of the many reasons that a petition by Change.org has picked up so much steam. The petition is to move Halloween from October 31st to the last Saturday in October. Right now, it has more than 145,000 signatures. The people who started the petition says it’s “to promote safety and increase the fun.”

Makes sense, right?

But, don’t rearrange your calendar just yet, there are some important pros and cons to changing the date of Halloween.

Should I Make Halloween Less Scary for My ChildFirst, the Pros:

  • Reducing the rush. Changing the date of Halloween to a Saturday would enable a lot of parents to have a more leisurely time getting the kids fed, ready and out the door.
  • Daytime trick or treating. Having Halloween on a Saturday would allow parents of very young kids to trick or treat really early when it’s still light out. Also makes trick or treating safer.
  • Parades and festivals may still be ON Halloween. When Halloween is on a random Thursday there are very few ways to enjoy the entire day. There are no festivals or events going on throughout the day. If it were on a Saturday, you could spend the entire day at a Halloween festival and then go home and get ready for trick-or-treating!

Now the Cons:

  • In Tampa Bay (and many other communities) Halloween is ALREADY a month-long celebration, culminating with trick-or-treating on October 31. We have SO MANY great events around us including Lowry Park’s Creatures of the Night, Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream and Guppyween at the Florida Aquarium. That doesn’t even include the millions of smaller festivals and pumpkin patches that are tons of fun!
  • The conflict between adult parties and trick or treating. So, take this year for example. With Halloween on a Thursday, I KNOW that’s when I will be home trick or treating with the kids. If there’s an adult party, it’s a safe bet it will be held the Saturday before. If Halloween were always on a Saturday there might be conflict and parents would have to choose trick or treating with the kids or having adult fun.
  • Losing the TRADITION of Halloween. C’mon! It’s the spookiest day of the year! There’s just something about October 31 that screams Halloween. It’s hard to imagine Halloween on October 26 (which is what it would be if it were changed this year).
  • Purists who will ALWAYS celebrate on October 31. Let’s be real, there are some people who will ALWAYS view October 31 as Halloween. They will party, dress-up and trick-or-treat on that day regardless of when the recognized day is. So, be prepared to have to hand out candy twice in a week!

145,000 people signed the petition to move Halloween to the last Saturday in October. But there are a lot of people who pushed back against this petition… Hard!

Because of that, the petition has been tweaked calling for the last Saturday in October to be a National Day of Trick-or-Treating. It appears to be a bit of middle ground for those who want to keep Halloween on October 31. For the day to be recognized, it must be approved by the President—and so far, there’s been zero comments from the White House.

So, it appears Halloween is safe for THIS YEAR.

But this debate is not going away.

Personally, I think it should say on October 31. I just cannot imagine that date being just another meaningless day on the calendar. It’s a tradition thing. You trick-or-treat on October 31 and wake up the next morning with Thanksgiving on the brain… It’s just the way it works.

Now, ask me on Thursday, October 31—as I’m struggling to get three, sweaty, dirty kids fed and dressed in their costumes while praying my husband gets home before 7 pm—whether I think Halloween should be moved, and you may get a very different answer!

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Laura
Laura likes to run. She uses it as an excuse to escape her 12, 7 and 5-year-old kids. Cameron, Audrey, and Lexi are amazing but exhausting. Fortunately, Laura’s partner in crime, Craig is pretty amazing himself. They’ve been married too many years to count and moved to Riverview when it was still cows in pastures. Laura worked for 18 years in television news, most recently as Executive Producer of Fox 13’s Good Day Tampa Bay, before taking the leap to the Hillsborough County School District where she works in Communications. Laura’s pet peeves include the use of “lol” and people who wear Crocs.

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