So, in looking at the website for the lovely city of Greenfield the other day, I discovered that our "scheduled" trick-or-treating is from 1-4 PM on Sunday, 10/30.
WHAT?! That's insane!!
1) Early afternoon trick-or-treating? Lame. That's fine for trick-or-treating events at the local mall or the zoo, but not for the real deal!
2) Trick-or-treating is the best part of Halloween. So why the hell would you do it the day BEFORE Halloween? That's like hunting for Easter eggs on Saturday afternoon.
Hubby says that it's been this way in the Milwaukee area his entire life. Ew. I can't even imagine growing up that way. In Madison, we had no restrictions on trick-or-treating, and I sincerely hope it stays that way.
Here's how it went. Younger kids usually starting coming through around 5 on Halloween night, looking cute and shyly asking, "Trick or treat?" (as if anyone's not going to give candy to the adorable little pirate or princess standing outside their door...). As it got later (and darker), more kids would come out and form clumps moving from one house to the next. The whole process usually lasted about 2-3 hours, depending on when you got started. When you were done, you headed home to check out the night's haul, eat yourself sick on candy, and finally go to bed.
There were rules. Some were imposed by parents: Must carry flashlights or glow sticks at all times, say thank you, stay in the neighborhood, don't leave each other behind and, for one sad year, don't eat any candy until it's been checked out by a parent (that whole needle scare had parents pretty freaked out). Others were self-imposed, almost unspoken, but universally understood: Don't ring the bell if the porch light is off, take turns ringing the doorbell (even if that meant racing for the privilege), let little kids get their candy first (bigger kids will be able to get to more houses and will get more candy anyway), etc etc. Of course, some houses would get TP'd, and there was the occasional egging, but for the most part, the rules we followed kept Halloween fun and safe.
It works for Madison. Why can't Milwaukee make it work, too? It can't just be a size thing; my best friend in Las Vegas says they don't have scheduled trick-or-treating, and Vegas has Milwaukee beat several times over in the "Who's Bigger?" contest. It can't just be crimes, because crime happens damn near everywhere. Milwaukee just seems to have a stick up its ass.
That being said, I truly hope we get some rogue trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. Kids need to experience the joy of trick-or-treating as it's intended, or else they'll never understand how truly awesome it actually is! Someone needs to lead these kids on a Halloween revolution and reclaim October 31st as their own. They need to take back All Hallow's Eve and tell Milwaukee to back off their holiday.
Who's with me?