1,173 Trick-or-Treaters: More of Why I Love My Chicago Neighborhood

If we had to move I would need to ask about the Halloween situation in our potential new neighborhoods. After two years on a street that takes Halloween very seriously, I would have a hard time adjusting to a place that counts its trick-or-treaters by the dozens (if that) instead of by the hundreds.

The Atlantic Cities Halloween index declared Chicago the top U.S. city for the holiday. My area certainly does its part. In a square of nine or so blocks nearly every house is decorated. You can see everything from Styrofoam tombstones to giant inflatable cats and spiders to homemade scarecrows. And, yes, we consistently get over 1,000 trick-or-treaters.

Because of the constant stream of costumed children we don’t bother with the doorbell. Most people sit on the porch for distribution. We had a small party for the occasion with people taking turns with candy distribution. A friend’s eight year old particularly enjoyed being in charge for a while. We also have someone mark in a notebook for each trick-or-treater, which is why I know we had at least 1,173 this year. Last year we had at least 1,198.

I say “at least 1,173” because when things get hectic some marks get missed. Early in the evening we were short-handed. We only had one person on the porch while we took our own kids out. While in charge of both candy and counting she admits the tally was sometimes neglected. Even with multiple helpers sometimes the groups come too fast to properly count. That’s fine. The point isn’t to get an exact count. The point is we get a lot of trick-or-treaters, and I love it.

It’s an expensive venture for sure, even when I hoard candy for months ahead of time and closely monitor the sales. It’s worth it for the entertainment. The chaos is part of the fun.

For a long time I was primarily a Christmas person, but I’ve regained my childhood love of Halloween. (Although now that Halloween is over for the year I will switch my focus to cookies, presents,and trees as usual.)

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween. For those whose festivities were delayed due to Superstorm Sandy I hope they go well. For those so impacted by Sandy that Halloween is not a concern, I hope you find stability soon.

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