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To treat or not to treat
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The Carr family dressed Mario-themed last year for downtown trick-or-treating. Mom Kaiti says she prefers downtown or trunk-or-treat style over traditional trick-or-treating. - photo by Lacy Garrison

It seems like traditional trick-or-treating has somewhat shifted over the years. 

Kids in costume could once walk around their neighborhood on Halloween accepting candy from everyone. However, with sex offenders and candy tampering, many parents choose to participate in trick-or-treating alternatives with their kiddos. 

In fact, our Three Star Mall and downtown businesses hold annual trick-or-treats, all organized and supervised for safety.

Primarily using the popularity of the Autumn Street Fair, we decided to poll those in our community to see whether traditional neighborhood trick-or-treating or alternatives are favored more.

According to our survey of 100 Warren County residents, (95 women, 5 men), mostly local moms, many shared how their family plans to trick-or-treat this Halloween. 

When asked “do you and your child and/ or children plan to participate in traditional trick-or-treating or one of the alternatives instead,” 42 replied both, although, when asked to explain, the majority only participate in the traditional form of trick-or-treating at relatives or friends’ homes. Twenty-one polled traditional, as long as they accompanied their child, while 37 voted in favor of alternative forms of trick-or-treating, specifically truck-or-treats held at churches.

Here are some comments:


“I prefer the traditional, but we don’t do neighborhood trick-or-treating. We dress up and drive around the county to family and friends’ houses so we are in town and the Irving College area. I prefer to go to the people that I know and we know where the good stuff is like baked goods, not just candy.”

- India Laxson

“We do family and then prefer trunk-or-treat or the Trail of Treats at the Civic Center. Honestly, it is too dangerous to walk around neighborhoods you’re not familiar with. These days, I feel safer letting him get candy from churches or business groups who do booths at the Civic Center versus regular homeowners whom I do not know.”

- Cally Bost


“I like the traditional. I think we are going to go around Westwood this year.”

- Ashley Sullivan


“We do both, but we only house treat to family and friends so I’d say I prefer downtown/ trunk-or-treat style best for the bulk of our trick-or-treating.”

- Kaiti Carr


“Our favorite Halloween activity is the downtown trick-or-treating. We live in Rock Island with very few neighbors, so it gives my kids the opportunity to participate and is so much more convenient for me. We have always finished the night at my grandfather’s house in Westwood eating dinner with him and handing out candy at his house. My kids have just as much fun handing out candy and seeing the other kids’ costumes.”

- Laura Lippe


 “I’d say traditional … although they also love going downtown. We trick-or-treat in our neighborhood – Hickory Hills. It feels safe, although there is tons of traffic. I think the girls enjoy trick-or-treating people they know. They anticipate seeing special people and special treats. I also think some of the neighbors look forward to seeing them dressed up.”

- Heather Wells