Who Is Killing Halloween?

20111031 halloween - 10

Halloween is an excellent time to take the pulse of a community. You can really tell your neighborhood’s age and spirit by the volume of candy in a bowl by your door.

To monitor it you could do some fancy statistical analysis or you could just look at two hashtags on Twitter. #kidcount and #yyc are the tags people are using to track trick or treaters in their communities around Calgary.

Many are talking about few if any kids coming around.

@MalloryEvasiuk wonders where all the trick-or-treaters are in #yyc i remember as a kid mom would count 300+ kids per year i have had 10 #sad #morecandy4me

@TSG36 I had a total of 3 kids this year-3 more than last yr…where are all the trick or treaters in New Brighton?! #kidcount #Halloween2011 #yyc

@DarciBrianne Only 41 kids tonight. Thats depressing considering we used to get about 150-200. =( #yyc #kidcount #shawnessy

@JenFuchs Next kid that comes gets the rest of the bowl! #kidcount #yyc

I had a blast walking the 4 blocks around our neighborhood with my son tonight. I stood at the sidewalk chatting with other parents, laughing and smiling at the kids and their costumes.

I soaked in the enthusiasm of youth and bathed in the politeness of my boy saying “Thank you! Happy Halloween!” to each neighbour and then bounding down the driveway announcing “Daddy, I got more candy!” as if it was some biblical breaking of bread and fish that was producing his bounty.

@Pistachio we fell in with a crew of 5 neighbor kids and 2 other parents and our posse of 10 had a grand time going door-to-door and chatting.

That’s what this night is supposed to be about. The normal quiet streets of suburbia bursting at the seams with giggles, sharing and small talk.

Then you scroll the hashtags and you find that this neighborly enthusiasm wasn’t a city-wide event. Then you see what the schools are doing by discouraging kids to dress up and you see the spirit of the season start to fade. Not everyone was on the streets mingling.

Kiri W wrote a great post today with 7 reasons why you should take your kids out.

Halloween is one of the only times in the year that it’s normal to knock on the door of an unknown person, have that person happily open the door, have a bit of a conversation and leave with everyone feeling good about it.

Shopping centres host trick-or-treating events because it gets a prime demographic through the doors to spend a couple hours window-shopping. They’re billed as “safe” alternatives, giving the false impression that neighbourhood trick-or-treating somehow isn’t safe. Taking your kids to the mall instead of exploring your neighbourhood sends your kids the message that commercial entities are preferred (more trusted?) than people down your street. [source]

It’s all about breathing life into the community and sharing a festival with friends and strangers alike.

I wonder why the numbers are shrinking? Stats Canada says the population of trickers and treaters (5-14) is dwindling in the country, but I live in a community surrounded by 3 schools 5 playgrounds and the houses are less than 8 years old. This is a “young family community.”

If you took your kids to the mall for Halloween, you’re part of the problem. Stop being afraid that something bad is going to happen. There were dozens of us on the streets having fun tonight. It should have been hundreds.

What was your kid count? Who do you think is killing Halloween?

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  1. Merry120 October 31, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    We had about 110 kids tonight here in NW Calgary. We took our 4 year old out for trick or treating too. We only did a few blocks b/c it was cold & he really doesn’t need THAT much candy. I was happy to see so many kids out in my neighborhood b/c I have lived in older neighborhoods where that is NOT the case.

  2. Mel B October 31, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    We had 71 in Saddleridge tonight.. way more then we have ever had.. mind you lots had NO costume.. 🙁 Growing up we use to have hundreds of kids at our house in Falconridge.. the streets were packed with kids back then, Halloween use to be so much fun!

  3. Nyla October 31, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I feel like Halloween is getting bigger and bigger each year. More stores, decorations…etc. I didn’t count kids tonight but we had lots in Evergreen. Also, lots of parents out with their coffee in hand, chatting and wandering in packs. Other than it being a little cold, it was a great night. I hope more people will see the fun it can bring a community and not all the negativity.

  4. Buzz October 31, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Isnt that the truth, Nyla. It’s odd … I do see it “getting bigger” but at the same time “getting smaller”.

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