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Most area officials urge trick or treating on Halloween

By Jimmy Isaac
Oct. 19, 2011 at 10 p.m.

Halloween fell on a Sunday this past year, leaving many parents and communities scrambling to determine which day during that October weekend young trick-or-treaters should hit the streets.

This year, Halloween, always on Oct. 31, lands on a Monday. Officials in nearly every East Texas community say they will encourage trick or treating on the holiday - though some leaders said this past year's lesson taught them parents are not asking trick questions when they want to know when to celebrate the holiday.

"It is a question to be addressed because we had the problem last year with it being on Sunday," Tatum Police Chief Ronnie Martin said Wednesday.

This past year, Tatum saw the fewest trick or treaters on its streets in his memory, Martin said, because many parents did not participate in Halloween on the Sabbath, and several local churches held events to attract children.

"It kept the kids off the streets and we all had a good time," he said.

This year, though, Martin will "try to get extra patrol" on Halloween night. Still, he said he expected few problems because Oct. 31 is a school night.

Longview municipal spokesman Shawn Hara said the city does not set dates for trick-or-treat activities.

"We don't specify a specific date," Hara said. "There are a lot of community activities that get planned, so obviously you can trick or treat at those, but people have typically trick-or-treated on the Halloween date."

The only East Texas town planning to divert Halloween activities from Oct. 31 is Gilmer. That city will have its annual Treats on the Square event, in which local churches and civic groups fill vendor booths and pick-up beds with candies for trick-or-treaters, on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Marshall and Carthage will have Halloween or fall festival events in their central business districts Monday, officials said.

"We don't change holidays," a Carthage City Hall receptionist said. "They are as they fall."

Officials at city halls in Henderson, Gladewater and Hallsville also said they were not suggesting days for trick or treating beyond Oct. 31.



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