Trick-or-treating after dark on Halloween for the first time in more than 20 years in the city of Kenosha brought gleeful cackles from some but boos from others — and not the ghostly kind.
Mayor Keith Bosman’s decision to reverse the two-decade trend of costumed kids going door-to-door in daylight only hours the Sunday before All Hallows Eve met with mixed reactions from adults informally surveyed from 5-8 p.m. Thursday in three city neighborhoods.
On the other hand, kids seemed to take the change in stride and said they really liked being out at night participating in the spirit of Halloween. At least if they were old enough to express themselves.
The rainy weather aside, Elie Fani, and her friend, Mikayla Zuberbuehler, both 8, were having a blast, as they trick-or-treated on Third Avenue in the Allendale neighborhood accompanied by Elie’s parents, Dennis and Bonny Jantzen, and her uncle, Frank Fani. Dennis welcomed the change back to Halloween night.
“Yeah, it’s awesome. I think it’s great. I hope they continue this,” Dennis Jantzen said. “It brings back a lot of good memories from when I was a kid.” Added Bonny, “I think a lot more families are at home.”
A few doors farther on, Tiffany Glynn, made up as a zombie, accompanying her son, Noah, 6, was also among parents who liked the change. “I guess just because it’s Halloween, and it makes more sense doing it on Halloween than on a different day. I grew up doing it on Halloween,” Tiffany Glynn said.
Monika Anderson, out with her daughter, Naomi, 13, and son, Konrad, 8, said she could go either way. “This year would have been better on Sunday weather-wise,” Anderson said with a laugh. “But overall, I think it will be OK.” Konrad’s answer to the same question, “I don’t care — as long as I get candy.”
Angie Aker, dressed fetchingly as Holly Golightly from the s“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” movie, and T.J. Helmstetter, 30, as Donatello of the Ninja Turtles, accompanied Axel Kipp, 14, as Walter White from TV’s “Breaking Bad” and Gianna Molini, 10, a quite formally gowned Marie Antoinette. All gave Halloween night trick-or-treating the thumbs up.
Said Helmstetter: “I’m from New Jersey. I never heard of this, not having Halloween on Halloween before. So, you guys are catching up here in Kenosha.”
But Jenny Kenesie, with infant son Luke, sons Christopher, 4, Eric, 7, and daughter Grace, 2, in tow, said trick-or-treating on a weeknight wasn’t her preference. “No, I’d rather have it be on a weekend because we have school tomorrow (Friday),” she said.
Likewise, White Caps resident Julie Voiearmour, who grew up in Beloit trick-or-treating on Halloween night but had come to like the prior Sunday tradition since moving here with her husband 10 years ago, lamented Bosman’s choice. So much so that the couple posted a sign on their front stoop saying due to the change they could not participate this year, although they left their porch in the 9400 block of 73rd Street lit for safety.
Voiearmour said because of their work schedules they couldn’t be home in time to participate in handing out candy to the kids, something they enjoyed when the event was reserved for the Sunday afternoon before Halloween. “It was a community event. We could see all the kids in their costumes. We would sit in our driveways like all of our neighbors. It builds community,” she said. “We still enjoy seeing the kids in their costumes.”
On the 7700 block of 34th Avenue, it’s always been about adults and kids playing together on Halloween night, when everyone seems to join in creating as spooky an atmosphere as possible, said Mark Seay. He said he and his neighbors typically held a block party Halloween nights to make that happen. This year, they didn’t have to do so because of the change.
“It’s way better at night,” Seay said. “I think the kids enjoy it more. We enjoy it more.” “It’s fun,” his daughter, Emily, 10, grinned, relishing how lots of kids got spooked by her dad’s ghoulish get-up as well as the eerie sounds and other effects he rigged for their house and front yard. “I like watching them run away. They’re probably scared,” Emily said.
Craig Calandrelli, across the street, along with his son, Chris, 13, were looking pretty scary themselves, as were the chainsaw duo of Alexis Oilar and Rob Crain.
Said Craig Calandrelli, “It’s
more fun once it gets dark out.”
Added Alexis Oilar, “There are more shadows to jump out from.”
Cue up the ghoulish laughter.