WOOSTER, Ohio –A long-standing trick or treat practice in Wooster is being challenged ahead of Halloween.
A growing number of residents have signed an online petition urging city leaders to change how trick-or-treating is planned and practiced.
According to Wooster Recreation Department Supervisor Ashley Hershberger, city officials do not set a city-wide date or time for trick-or-treating. The practice is left to individuals to plan.
Once a time is agreed upon, neighborhood leaders are encouraged to share trick-or-treat dates and times with city leaders who then communicate those times to police for a safety presence.
Corrine Riviella says this is her first Halloween as a Wooster resident and believes the current trick-or-treat practice poses an unnecessary safety risk for children.
“As a person who, like, might be driving home from work that evening, I would like to know when I should expect children to be, like, running across the street knocking on people’s doors,” said Riviella.
Another resident, Susan Philpott, seemed to echo that outlook.
“I don’t think it’s very safe because people fly up and down the roads all the time and trick-or-treaters come out and they don’t know it’s trick-or-treat or time and just aren’t paying attention,” said Philpott. “I really think it would benefit if it was all on one day.”
Hershberger says the neighborhood trick-or-treat has been in practice for decades and has not received a formal petition to change the practice. She says over the years they have found neighborhoods prefer to establish their own trick-or-treating events and do not want dates to celebrate dictated by the city. Hershberger adds they would not be able to enforce a specific city-wide trick-or-treat time.
“We’ve definitely taken both sides into consideration and are willing to hear both sides in what people want in our community,” said Hershberger. “That’s something moving forward we can have discussion about.”