This year, Halloween is on a Wednesday, leaving residents accustomed to the usual casual church activities wondering which night they should take their children trick-or-treating.
According to Sheriff Larry Amerson, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office does not take part in the decision to designate a formal date for Halloween activities. It’s usually organizations within the community, such as school groups, that decide which night they want to celebrate.
The Anniston Police Department said Halloween will most likely be celebrated on its calendar date this year.
In 2010 October 31 fell on a Sunday and the local government officials voted to hold all Halloween activities, including trick-or-treating, on Saturday in order to avoid interference with church services. This year, several local churches that normally hold services on Wednesday nights have decided to adapt to the holiday by scheduling their own events.
For example, the Jacksonville First Baptist Church will be holding its Fall Festival in place of a typical Wednesday evening service. The family friendly event will include food, games, and hayrides.
Likewise, the Lakeview Baptist Church in Oxford will be hosting a “Trunk of Treats” night for its members. Children may come in costumes, as long as they are not “dressed as something evil,” according to a church secretary. (This could well be a situation where one lets one's conscience be the guide, for the secretary did not elaborate on what is considered an evil costume.) Candy and food will be handed out from the trunks of decorated cars and trucks at the church.
Grace Episcopal Church in Anniston will have its regular prayer service that night, but attendance is expected to be lower than usual with trick-or-treat night on Glenwood Terrace happening nearby.
Halloween is one of the biggest nights of the year for Glenwood resident William Wakefield.
“It’s just fun to be with the kids and have a good time,” said Wakefield. “It’s a safe place to trick-or-treat.”
Wakefield describes the neighborhood as one where the intersecting streets are blocked off around 4:30 p.m. for the convenience of trick-or-treaters and homeowners alike. With its grassy median and gentle hills, Glenwood is known far and wide as a fine neighborhood in which to snag some treats.
One exciting tradition the venue has to offer is the Headless Horseman’s ride. Every year someone dressed as the Headless Horseman rides a live horse down the Glenwood median. Wakefield said he expects him to make his appearance around 5 p.m. this year.
The residents of Glenwood Terrace see between 1,500 and 1,700 children each Halloween.
“I purchased between $300-$400 worth of candy this year and it will all be gone,” said Wakefield.