Spooked by a nasty weather forecast, communities across the state are grappling with a tough call: postponing trick-or-treating.
Among the postponements to Saturday evening:
Manchester has moved its trick-or-treating to Sunday afternoon between 2 and 4 p.m.
Other communities — including Merrimack and Litchfield — plan to stick with Thursday evening, at least for now, despite rain and wind in the forecast. Fremont trick or treat will be Sunday.
Capt. Matt Tarleton of the Merrimack Police Department acknowledged it’s a tough call.
“As things stand now, we are still on pace to do it (Thursday), and we are keeping an eye on the weather,” he said.
Whether they prefer a postponement or not, Tarleton observed that townspeople are quite opinionated — and vocal — on the subject.
Windham Police Chief Gerald Lewis decided to postpone trick-or-treating until Saturday evening.
“I am always going to err on the side of caution,” he said. The chief hopes town roads will be drier on Saturday.
While Lewis is a traditionalist and likes to celebrate the holiday on Halloween, several factors played into his decision to postpone the festivities.
“It is a recipe for disaster,” Lewis said of the rain and wind in the forecast. Visibility will be poor for both pedestrians and drivers, and even wet leaves and pine needles have the potential to cause accidents, he noted.
“I don’t see any need to put families and their children, or even drivers, in a position where that potentially could happen,” he said Tuesday.
When the trick-or-treaters do head out, Tarleton reminded parents to make sure the kids are equipped with flashlights or glow sticks and light or reflective clothing.
He’s also encouraging trick-or-treaters to travel in large groups, which are more visible to motorists.
Citing concerns about the weather and children's safety, Police Chief Carlo Capano Wednesday morning postponed Halloween in the Queen City until Sunday afternoon.
Some residents are happy Merrimack is keeping the festivities on Halloween night, others are dismayed it hasn’t been postponed.
“The winds are supposed to be bad as well. For the safety of the kids and adults, it should be postponed,” Monica Lois VanAsselberg said in an online post, adding it’s hard enough to see at night on the town’s darkened roads.
Michelle Chapman disagreed.
“If it’s strong winds and power outages, that’s one thing, but trick-or-treating feels wrong if it’s not on Halloween,” she posted, praising Merrimack police for standing pat.
Chief Joseph O’Brion of the Litchfield Police Department said trick-or-treating will remain on Halloween night, adding the only time in recent years it was postponed was because of a power outage.
“I have never seen so much controversy. People get really upset when it is changed,” said O’Brion.
Nashua police postponed trick-or-treating until Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. police Lt. Carlos Camacho said.
“For motorists, make sure you are aware of your surroundings and be extra vigilant because the rain can cause some vision issues. Be mindful to reduce speeds — especially in neighborhoods with trick-or-treating,” said Camacho.