It’s once again the time of year to prepare for trick-or-treaters and, for me, that requires a lot more preparation than it once did. I’ve grown to learn trick-or-treating is much like real estate, your experience depends greatly on location, location, location.
Growing up in the county, the number of trick-or-treaters who came to our house usually topped out around 10, and of those, probably eight of them were family or friends. Upon moving to the city, my whole idea of trick-or-treating changed. Where once, we could buy a couple bags of candy and had plenty left over to snack on after Halloween was over, the city Halloween experience is about buying $200 worth of candy and still not having enough.
My wife and I moved to a house near the Milner Recreation Center in 2009 and that first Halloween was a real eye-opener. We had 300 - 400 trick-or-treaters. My count wasn’t very accurate that year because I was trying to keep up on a dry erase board, but the constant stream of candy seekers didn’t even give me time to duck back inside to where I kept the board.
This led me to investing in a hand-clicker to record much more accurate numbers. As an avid sports fans, I really love stats. In the 13 years we’ve lived in the city, we generally get between 200-500 trick-or-treaters. That’s not counting parents, just the ones we give candy to. I think our high-water mark was when we hit 573 in 2016. We followed that up with 450 in 2017. Definitely our slowest year was the COVID-affected year of 2020, where we still had 85 costumed visitors. Last year was a bit of a bounce-back with 224 before we ran out of candy and turned off the porch lights and watched the Braves play in the World Series, but that was still a down year, probably due to it being a Sunday night.
The waves of happy, hungry children are always a quick way to put us in the Halloween spirit. Seeing all the (mostly very polite) kids is always a lot of fun. We are often joined by friends who live in less trick-or-treat-heavy neighborhoods who come over just out of curiousity to view the overwhelming crowd and to help us out with our candy supplies and to help man the door. That help is very welcome as, once the kids begin coming to the porch, there's little time to sit down or visit with our friends.
We’re bracing for the onslaught Monday night, especially since Trail of Treats is returning to the Milner Recreation Center and will attract a huge crowd that will disperse throughout the neighborhood after harvesting all the candy there. So if you want to get any candy from me, come early. It goes fast.
Standard managing editor Seth Wright can be reached at (931) 473-2191.