Kids in McAlester will have a chance to get their treats a night early this year.
Mayor John Browne has moved trick-or-treating forward by a night. With Halloween set to fall on Sunday, Oct. 31, Browne is declaring Saturday, Oct. 30, as the official night for trick-or-treating in McAlester.
Browne said he's moving trick-or-treating forward to keep it from conflicting with other activities.
"Sunday is a church day," Browne noted. "Many churches have evening services and a lot of them put on trick-or-treats.
"In order to give everyone as much opportunity as they can to enjoy the holiday, it makes sense to move it to Saturday," said Browne.
Browne noted trick-or-treating in McAlester has been moved to nights other than the official Halloween night on previous occasions for various reasons.
In the past, those reasons have included moving the activity from a Sunday night, but trick-or-treating has been moved from Friday nights, too, for safety reasons. That's occurred when Halloween would fall upon the same date as a home football game, based on the premise it would be better to have it on a night when there's not so much extra traffic in the city.
Does the mayor hear from city residents when trick-or-treating is moved to a night other than the official Halloween holiday?
"I get it from both sides," Browne said. He said some people support the moves, while others ask "Why cater to church people?"
Browne maintained he's not catering to any group. Instead, he said there are likely going to be additional activities held in McAlester on Halloween, so he wants to give everyone a chance to participate in those events, without having to choose between them and regular trick-or-treating.
"It's not catering to church people," Browne said. "We're trying to give everybody a chance to load up on candy."
Does the mayor have any advice for those participating in trick-or-treat activities? He suggested everyone remember COVID-19 has not been eradicated.
"We need to keep in mind that COVID is still very much around us," Browne said. "Take reasonable precautions when trick-or-treating or handing out candy."
Browne believes it's not to early to announce when trick-or-treating will be held in McAlester.
"I start getting asked about it in August," he said.
Contact James Beaty at email@example.com.