A community feud over Halloween is brewing this year in Madison, as popular neighborhoods are vying to conduct trick-or-treating on different days.
This year, Halloween falls on a Sunday and in previous years with a Sunday Halloween, the City of Madison designated trick-or-treating to take place on the Saturday before instead. However, this year, the City of Madison will not decide when trick-or-treating can be held since there are no city-sponsored Halloween related events this year.
The controversy started when Cedar Lakes and other neighborhoods began advertising their intention to host trick-or-treating on Saturday, Oct. 30. Other neighborhoods started requesting trick-or-treating to be held on Sunday, Oct. 31, since the Georgia-Florida football game is on Saturday, Oct. 30 and there is no school on Monday, Nov. 1.
Constituents started reaching out to city council members for clarity, and worried that if different neighborhoods host trick-or-treating on different days, it will be confusing and some neighborhoods will get trick-or-treaters on both days.
“There is a concern that people will come out both nights,” said City Councilman Ed Latham. “Most of the people in my district would rather have it on Sunday night.”
But that conundrum will be for the individual neighborhoods to figure out, as the Madison Mayor and City Council declined to render a decision either way.
“The city does not have anything to do with Halloween, scheduling or anything else,” said City Manager David Nunn at last Monday’s regular meeting.
“We have no city events this year for Halloween,” said Councilman Eric Joyce. “I don’t know why we are weighing in on when neighborhoods should be hosting their own events.”
Briann Flowers attended Monday’s meeting representing several neighborhood associations who prefer to host trick-or-treating on Sunday, Oct. 31.
“It’s up to the community to decide which night they want to do Halloween,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman. “Tell the neighborhoods they are free to do it when they wish.”
Council members did suggest neighborhoods clearly advertise their events and coordinate with the Madison City Police Department to give law enforcement ample notice of when trick-or-treating would occur.