Local Government Sets Age, Time Limits For Trick Or Treating

Alice Salles Comments

There are two major celebrations most kids in America look forward to – Christmas and Halloween. Unfortunately, the government is making it harder for kids in certain areas in the country to trick and treat in peace. Will bureaucrats manage to destroy every kid’s favorite spooky celebration?

The practice of dressing up as scary characters and take it to the streets may have started with the Celts when they would dress up as evil spirits to celebrate the end of the year. But it only became associated with Halloween after the Catholic Church associated dressing up with “All Hallows Eve.”


Trick or treating itself reportedly began in the middle-ages, with children and sometimes impoverished adults dressing up and knocking on doors during Hallowmas begging for money or food in exchange for prayers and songs. But it wasn’t until the 1920s that the practice became popular in the United States.

But many local officials feel they can regulate the practice.

Are You Too Old To Trick Or Treat? Watch Out

Take Holly Springs, North Carolina, as an example. In the town of approximately 24,000 residents, kids must be under 13 if they want to trick or treat around town, and must not go past 9 p.m. While the town’s mayor says the rules are just suggestions, the mere fact local authorities are putting out guidelines makes locals think they could get in trouble.

But in Chesapeake, Virginia, if you’re over the age of 13 or you trick or treat after 8 p.m. and you’re caught, you could face jail time.

After a petition asking for the resolution to be annulled went live, the city issued a statement saying that anyone over the age of 13 caught trick or treating would not be arrested, “provided that they are doing so in an otherwise lawful, safe and secure manner,” officials added.

Another town in Virginia, Newport, also threatens children over the age of 12 with a Class 4 misdemeanor for trick or treating, while in Upper Deerfield Township, New Jersey, kids must also be under 12 to celebrate Halloween in the local streets.

In addition, other New Jersey communities also limit the time children can stay outside trick or treating, ruling that they must be out of the streets no later than 7 p.m.

While it’s preferable to see smaller communities pass their own rules and guidelines instead of relying on the federal government, it’s still remarkable to think that celebrating Halloween as a teenager could get you in trouble with the police.

In an age Americans have become so well acquainted with the abuses associated with passing too many laws, giving them even more reasons to harass young people engaging in peaceful celebrations is a recipe for disaster.

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