Trick-or-treat tradition returns

While other areas curb the practice, Taneytown revives it

Halloween 2001: different approaches

October 27, 2001|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

After an absence of more than 20 years, Taneytown has lifted its unofficial ban on trick-or-treating and will allow the Halloween tradition to return to its streets.

In the early 1980s, concerns about poisoned-laced candy and razor blades embedded in apples prompted the town to call a halt to trick-or-treating on Halloween. At the same time, the small northwestern Carroll County city was also coping with an onslaught of children from the surrounding countryside, where homes were too far apart for trick-or-treating.

But you can't keep a great American tradition down forever.

Taneytown officials knew that some parents in newer subdivisions in this town of 5,200 were encouraging small pockets of trick-or-treaters.

So, rather than see those neighborhoods inundated with costumed children from all parts of Taneytown and the vicinity, Mayor Henry C. Heine decided to resume trick-or-treating on Halloween night everywhere in town.

"Kids need some old-fashioned fun, especially this year," said Naomi Lowenthal, who became Taneytown's recreation director this year and urged the trick-or-treat revival.

Sue Reifsnider, who lives in an older section of town, could not be happier with the official decision.

"It is a tradition that children need to experience," she said. "Society has lost too many traditions, and this is one that gives kids a chance to be creative and have fun. And after what happened on Sept. 11, we all need some serious fun to get our minds off the news."

Taneytown's Halloween celebration will begin today with a parade and the community party. Trick-or-treating begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, ending at 8:30 p.m.

Holiday parade

The parade will be led by the William F. Myers and Sons Marching Band, a must at many Carroll events even though the business it advertises closed more than 20 years ago.

The 1-mile parade route winds from the senior center on Roberts Mill Road to Roberts Mill Park, Heine said.

This year, the band will play patriotic songs in keeping with a colorful theme that mixes red, white and blue with orange and black.

There will be partying in the park, costume judging and pumpkins and treat bags for all.

Lowenthal, Reifsnider and Councilman Robert Flickinger spent Tuesday morning picking 100 pumpkins at a Carroll farm for the party.

Halloween new and old

"We are trying to provide as many services as we can for the children," said Patrick Nield, city manager.

He will accompany his four children on their neighborhood Halloween rounds and may just don an old sheriff's uniform from his previous occupation.

"That will keep everyone in line," he said with a laugh.

Heine said trick-or-treating wasn't widely missed all those years.

"We never banned it, but always discouraged it from a safety standpoint," Heine said.

"We had a party where we could totally control treats. It all culminated in a parade. My own daughters are both in their 20s now and have told me often they never missed trick-or-treating."

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