Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Trick-or-Treat Day

Living in Davenport my whole life, I've gotten used to defending our unusual night-before Halloween custom, but one thing I'd never really thought about was our city-provided schedule. It just seemed like common sense to me that the city would specify hours for trick-or-treating, but talking to folks from other parts of the country, especially big cities, I found out that many cities don't designate specific times for the kids to be out begging for candy. Just something I found interesting. Considering how much Davenport residents already get hit by out-of-towners on our separate Halloween, I can't even imagine if it were allowed to go on past 3 hours...

Just the facts:
Davenport Trick-or-Treating: Tonight, 5PM-8PM
(Sunset is scheduled for 6:00PM)
Davenport Halloween Parade: Tomorrow night, 7PM

If you have to go out, drive safe tonight folks. Watch our for little ghouls and goblins, or more likely Hanna Montanas and Harry Potters.


Anonymous said...

Go ahead and support Davenports "unusual" night for trick or treating. Tell you what, come over to NE Davenport tonight, and see all of the Illinois Cars.

Of course it's great to see all the kids, even those outside our neighborhood. But I pitty the parent(s), and the moral and social examples they are passing onto their children.

Matt said...

QCI - new davenport resident here, as (i think) you know. what is the city's reasoning behind the one-night-early trick or treating?

Anonymous said...

I always assumed it was to allow everyone to take in the parade. The Davenport Parade is a lot of fun

Anonymous said...

Davenport has out-of-towners on Tuesday. The rest of the Quad Cities has Davenporters on Wednesday.

It's ok with me so long as the kids are "kids" and they are in costume, and they almost always are. It's fun to see them.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, the explanation I always heard for night-before trick-or-treating was that the Davenport and Bettendorf police departments would join forces to help keep things safe, the BPD helping out in Davenport on the 30th and DPD helping out in Bettendorf on the 31st.

But I pitty the parent(s), and the moral and social examples they are passing onto their children.

What moral and social example? That you can get more free candy by trick-or-treating on more than one night? What's wrong with that? Davenportians can get a second helping by going to Bettendorf or Illinois on the 31st, too, you know. It works both ways.

I grew up in NE Davenport and we always had trick-or-treaters from outside our neighborhood, both other Davenport neighborhoods and other cities. As long as the kids were in costume and polite, I didn't see any moral or social problem. I suppose trick-or-treating in theory should be a neighborhood thing where you know the kids you're giving candy to, but I think it's tough to take the position that if you're from a poorer neighborhood you shouldn't be able to score some better candy from a wealthier neighborhood. Even within a neighborhood, word always gets around as to which houses have the best candy.

Occasionally we'd get a kid who was rude or who tried to grab more candy than we intended to give out, and we'd turn those kids away. But I don't think the rudeness of trick-or-treaters had any correlation with them being from Illinois. There were rude trick-or-treaters from our own neighborhood, too.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly the reason Davenport went to trick or treating the night before Halloween was because of the parade. The Parade was started on Halloween because there were razor blades and other things found in candy and parents were afraid to let their kids out. The hospital even would xray candy if parents came in with it. It is fun for the kids to trick or treat and get to go to the parade both. Fortunatly I haven't heard of things in candy for years.

Matt said...

the parade was one of my assumptions as to why things were shuffled around. my $.02 is that i don't care for the idea. if the reasoning is indeed making time for davenport residents to enjoy both trick-or-treating and the parade, i wish the latter were on the saturday of the weekend prior and trick-or-treating stayed on the 31st.

to me, trick-or-treating is one of the primary Halloween activities. it, along with carving pumpkins, seeing neighbor's houses' decorations, and all that jazz, trumps any parade. those types of things seem more intimate to me because they're activites that get you out into your neighborhood. they're more "personal" than being part of the from-all-over-the-city crowd of the parade. actually, that sounds a little disjointed. i guess my point is that halloween didn't feel like halloween. it was the 31st, and i was one of many people that didn't want to go see the parade, so it felt like a holiday badly askew - sitting around on the actual holiday, yet everything had already happened.

Darrin said...

As a recent transplant, I find the "official" trick-or-treating hours a bit dictatorial. In the Bay Area (and most big cities), trick-or-treating was never scheduled by the government. Families ate dinner together on the 31st, and then went out trick-or-treating (candy was the "dessert") Trick-or-treating can last until 11 p.m. at times. Very young children (with their parents) would usually show up between 6:30 - 8:00, then it seemed pre-teens before 9, and then the teens (those that were 'cool' and could stay out late) would come by later that night. If you wanted to pass out candy to the young kids, but found the teens obnoxious, you just turned off your lights about 9 or so. It was more casual, less regulated.

Parties / parades are often either the night before or on the weekend preceding the 31st. But the 31st is solely reserved, as Matt has noted, to rejoice in the trick-or-treating festivities, to see your friends in costume and your neighbors' decorations. It felt more spontaneous, more free, dare I say, more 'democratic'. Having the government step in and sanction appropriate trick-or-treating hours seems, well, a bit totalitarian..."The City of Davenport has ordered that trick-or-treating fun begins promptly at 5 p.m., with the fun to terminate no later than 8 p.m. Any families caught engaging in holiday joy after 8 p.m. are subject to prosecution. Please govern yourselves accordingly. Thank you."

Darrin said...

One more thing, and this analogy will surely elicit a few angry responses, I am sure.

But in my mind, having the government tell people what times they can trick-or-treat for candy is akin to telling families what time they should eat their Thanksgiving turkey or what time they should open their Christmas presents.

Now, let the flames begin...

Anonymous said...

My daughter and I live near downtown davenport where the neighborhoods really aren't trick-or-treater friendly. Not a single house on our block was giving out candy so we went to a "nicer" neighborhood to trick-or-treat. Some of the houses gave out full sized candy bars to local kids and smaller candy bars to kids who came from other neighborhoods. Try explaining that to a three year old who doesn't understand the concept of "you're not from around here." I guess I get it, but many people don't understand that I'm not trying to be a poor social/moral example to my child; I'm just trying to let her enjoy herself. One day we'll be more fortunate and give big candy bars to EVERYONE!!!