Forget faux Frankenstiens and vamped-up vampires — the scariest thing that Sulphur Springs trick-or-treaters may face this Halloween is Mother Nature.
City officials have already taken care of one worry about All Hallows’ Eve. This year, Oct. 31 falls on a Sunday, but Mayor Gary Spraggins took the initiative in late September to issue a proclamation that Halloween will be celebrated in this city on Saturday, Oct. 30.
“Whereas October 31, 2010, falls on a Sunday this year, which is a school night and many area churches conduct services, and whereas the city of Sulphur Springs has been asked by several citizens and institutions to declare Saturday, October 30, 2010, as the day to celebrate Halloween, ... on behalf of the City Council [I] do proclaim Saturday, October 30, 2010, as the day to celebrate Halloween in the city of Sulphur Spings,” Spraggins wrote in the proclamation.
Changing the date of Halloween activities is nothing new in Sulphur Springs. Oct. 31 falls on a Sunday every five to six years — the last three times were in 2004, 1999 and 1993. In each of those years, a proclamation was issued to change the celebration day.
In 1999, then Mayor Larry Powers enlisted the aid of Sulphur Springs students to decide whether or not to move Halloween. The results of an informal poll of elementary and middle school students was overwhelming — 2,010 in favor of trick-or-treating on Saturday, 99 voting for Sunday.
The date for Halloween activities has been moved for other reasons. In 1997, former Mayor Valanderous Bell issued a decree proclaiming Halloween in the city would be on Saturday, Nov. 1, instead of Friday, Oct. 31. That decision was made because the annual showdown between the Sulphur Springs Wildcats and Mount Pleasant Tigers, a rivalry that already spurs enough mischief and traffic, was being held the night of Oct. 31 that year.
Spraggins’ proclamation also reminded parents to exercise a little caution and common sense by accompanying their little ghosts and goblins when making the trick-or-treat rounds. Parents are also asked to examine candies for evidence of tampering and to follow the rule of “if in doubt — throw it out.”
But children anxiously awaiting Halloween are probably more scared of the weather. The current forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of storms on Saturday, which could literally dampen the chance for children to bring home bags full of free treats.
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