Halloween curfew hours need revision

Noah Vermes, Eastside Staff

Ever since I was a young child, I always looked forward to Halloween. Whether it was the excitement of easily accessible candy, the various costumes or the parties, it was always a happy time for me.

As the years go on, while my love for dressing up in costume and going from house to house may depreciate, I still hold fond memories of the times that I went trick-or-treating with friends.

This year, Cherry Hill’s curfew for Halloween is 7:00 PM, and trick-or-treaters are allowed to start going to houses at 3:00 PM. The problem is that a majority of trick-or-treaters are elementary and middle school students, the latter of which, in Cherry Hill, do not get out of school until 3:00 PM, and many get home as late as 3:30 PM. Coupled with the fact that Cherry Hill elementary schools do not let out until 3:25 PM, students can already lose up to an hour of their trick-or-treating time purely because of school and transportation alone.

Not to mention, the sun also has barely even set by 7:00 PM. Right now, in October, the sun is setting around 6:30 PM, which means that at most, trick-or-treaters would only get about 30 minutes to an hour of nighttime to get candy. This does not even take into account exactly how dark it would actually be at this hour. When I picture Halloween, it is a dark night of trick-or-treating, only adding upon the spooky theme of ghosts and monsters. Besides the fact that only one out of the mere four hours that trick-or-treaters have occurs after the sun is down, that short amount of time is not nearly enough for the sky to dim to that picturesque, dark Halloween feel.

I understand why the township has set Halloween for trick-or-treaters so early; the holiday is on a Tuesday. Parents would rather have their children trick-or-treating at an earlier time because it is safer, and they have school the next day. That being said, I believe that the township should shift the Halloween timeframe this upcoming year. This will allow students to take advantage of all hours for trick-or-treating without sacrificing any of the time because of school. Also, they will be able to experience what trick-or-treating is like later at night. The curfew should be switched to 8:30 PM and start a bit later, at 4:00 PM or 4:30 PM.

Overall, Halloween is a fun time for many people. However, in Cherry Hill there are restrictions put into place – with justification – that may play a role in how the community views the holiday. That is why I believe that a change in time for trick-or-treating is needed to help make sure that trick-or-treaters are getting the most out of this great festivity.