I saw the article below in today’s Hartford Courant. Interesting thought! A state legislator wants to change the date of Halloween to ensure it always falls on a weekend to make our lives easier as working parents. Post a comment and let us know what you think!
By DANIELA ALTIMARI
10:40 AM EDT, October 24, 2011
Everyone knows Halloween in celebrated on Oct. 31 but a state lawmaker wants to tamper with tradition to ensure the holiday is always marked on a weekend.
State Rep. Tim Larson is proposing that the legislature designate the last Saturday in October as Halloween. He says it would make the holiday less harried for working parents, safer for trick-or-treaters and boost the economy as well.
“Halloween is fun night for the whole family, but not so much when you have to race home from work, get the kids ready for trick or treating, welcome the neighborhood children, and then try to get everyone to bed for an early school and work morning,” Larson, a Democrat who represents East Hartford and South Windsor, said in a statement outlining his proposal.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy doesn’t support the idea, said his press secretary, Juliet Manalan.
“The Governor is worried about confusing the ghosts, goblins, and witches – so he thinks leaving Halloween on Oct. 31st is the right thing to do,” Manalan said via email. “No disrespect intended toward Rep. Larson, of course.”
In a brief interview this morning, Larson acknowledged that the question of when to celebrate Halloween is not the most pressing matter on the legislative agenda. “Clearly this is not the highest priority,” he said. “But it does present an opportunity to make a safer, more enjoyable holiday. It’s a nice thing to help families out, neighbors can get out to see each other…it’s the small things that start sending a good vibe.”
Larson’s own children are grown now but he said he recalls the “Halloween rat race” of trying to get the kids fed and in their costumes on a busy weeknight. He said he came up with his proposal after talking with his wife, a middle school assistant principal, and some neighbors who have young children.
“It’s kind of a whimsical idea, but it’s smart from a common-sense safety perspective,” Larson said, explaining that celebrating Halloween on a Saturday would allow for earlier trick-or-treating when there’s still a bit of daylight left.
And while he doesn’t expect a windfall, marking Halloween on a Saturday could lead to more celebrations — and more Halloween-themed spending. “Halloween has also become one of the top holidays for retailers selling candy, decorations, costumes and general party supplies,” he said in his statement. “Jobs are created by this holiday, so let’s make it a little more fun and safe for everyone, and create some jobs too.”
Americans spend $7 billion annually on Halloween-related merchandise, according to the National Retail Federation.
Halloween isn’t an official state holiday, but Larson compares his proposal to the government proclamation that Thanksgiving be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.
Halloween is a week away, so it’s far too late to make any changes for this year. However Larson said he hopes the issue will come up in the 2012 legislative session.
“This would be good for the economy and make Halloween a more family-friendly event every year,” he said in the statement. “Everyone looks forward to Halloween a little more when it falls on the weekend,” he said.
Copyright © 2011, The Hartford Courant