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City: When to trick or treat an individual choice

October 26, 2010

With Halloween falling on Sunday this year, many Starkville residents have been wondering when trick or treating would take place, since many may object to the observance of Halloween on what they believe is a religious day.
Both the Mayor’s Office in City Hall and the Starkville Daily News offices have fielded numerous calls from residents wanting the answer to that question, the answer city officials are giving is that it will be up to individual residents.
“There is no city policy that speaks to when Halloween traditions will be observed. It’s a matter of personal choice,” said Mayor Parker Wiseman on Monday.
An examination of Starkville’s City Code of Ordinances supports Wiseman’s statement: There is no regulation on the books mandating when the traditions for Halloween — or any holiday — are observed in the city.
Whenever residents choose to trick or treat or celebrate Halloween, Wiseman did encourage them to do so safely.
“We hope and encourage people, however they choose to celebrate Halloween, to do so
in the safest possible manner,” Wiseman said.
Those who do not feel the Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating should be observed on Sunday have multiple alternatives to celebrate the holiday:
• On Thursday, Mississippi State’s Campus Activities Board will sponsor its annual public Halloween Carnival and Fall Festival from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Junction on campus. In the event of rain, the event will be moved to the Newell-Grissom Building nearby.
• On Friday, the second annual Pumpkinpalooza will be held in downtown Starkville from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will feature trick or treating to Main Street merchants, a pumpkin patch and a host of other activities.
• Several area churches are planning Fall Festival events on Sunday. Check church websites or contact them by phone for additional information about their events.

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