Sometime in the recent past when Halloween became more than just a night of candy collection, there arose quite a tradition of haunted houses, costume parties and commercial frenzy, and in Ashe County the event includes haunted hay rides and rides on fire trucks. Even the churches got involved by holding trunk or treat activities where children can collect candy safely.
All this has made Halloween seem to grow in popularity, or maybe its just something fun to do before the holiday season really gets underway. But when it falls on Sunday, the discussion about what to do can rival the upcoming political debates.
While West Jefferson Aldermen were recently discussing the issue, the county commissioners had their own debate going. Should the trick-or-treating be on Halloween night, which is Sunday this year, or perhaps on Saturday so kids could be out later without losing sleep on a night they need to get ready for school. Or maybe it should be celebrated on Friday so downtown merchants can hand out candy to costumed youngsters.
Just when West Jefferson decided to say the town would have trick-or-treating on Halloween night because the local churches were planning their trunk-or-treat events that night, the county announced it was encouraging residents to have trick-or-treating on Saturday. Confusion ensued. When were the little goblins supposed to dress up and go out on their one night a year opportunity to accept candy from strangers?
Since it was obvious that having trick-or-treating on more than one night would be too confusing for everyone, and residents wouldnt know when to put out their bowls of candy, the issue was resolved between the county and the Town of West Jefferson. The county still suggested Saturday night, and West Jefferson decided to go along with that plan. Fire department members assured the aldermen that Saturday would be a good night for them to have the antique truck out for rides, since the farmers market will be handing out candy. Downtown merchants were happy with Saturday so they could hand out candy before their closing times.
Jefferson and Lansing aldermen have not discussed the issue, but appear ready to go along with whatever the rest of the county wants to do. Jefferson Town Manager Cathy Howell said the town will have trick-or-treating in coordination with the county, and Lansing Town Clerk Berniece Prestwood said Lansing usually goes along with West Jefferson.
So it appears that Saturday, Oct. 30 will be the night for trick-or-treating. The Haunted Hospital in Jefferson and the Haunted House in Lansing will also be open that night, and there will be a costume contest at the Haunted Hospital.
For all the details about the most frightfully entertaining weekend of the year, stay tuned.