CAUTION: Dumb LAWS carry real FINES!
After 19 months of wearing masks in school, kids are looking forward to wearing masks outdoors in the annual hunt for Halloween treats! Don’t upset the spirits by breaking a hideous Halloween law that should have been dead and buried long ago.
What day is Halloween? October 31st. Unless it falls on a Sunday, then trick-or-treating is moved to the previous Saturday. (Rehoboth Beach, DE) You don’t want to mix the evil spirits with the Holy Spirit.
What are the Hours? Roselle: Sunday, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Bloomingdale: Sunday, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Your town: Call Village Hall.
Who can go Trick-or-Treating? No one over eighth grade. (Bellville, IL) No one over the age of 12. (Roanoke, VA). No one over 6’3” (My house, my rule.)
What costume can you wear? No one over 12 can wear a mask or disguise without permission from the Mayor or Chief of Police. (Bellville, IL, Dublin, GA, Walnut Creek, CA) Anyone who dresses as a minister, priest, nun, rabbi or clergy commits a misdemeanor. (AL) No clown costume or make up allowed. (Kemper Co., MI) But devils and politicians – no problem!
Can I paint the town with Silly String? Not in Hollywood, CA, where Silly String is prohibited from 12:00 a.m. on October 31 until 12:00 p.m. on November 1. Violators can be fined $1,000.
Which houses can you visit? Kids can only approach homes that have their porch lights on. (Forsyth, IL) This year, with the COVID-19 precautions, some communities have Green signs for YES, Trick-or-Treaters Welcome or Red signs for NO, Come Back Next Year. Kids, if the porch light is off, they don’t want you ringing the bell. Go Away and Get Off of My Lawn!
Avoid homes where the lights are off. Maybe no one is home or the residents don’t want to be disturbed. But it could also be the home of a sex offender who is forbidden by law from handing out candy.
What is the penalty? Generally, local Ordinance Violations carry a maximum fine of $500.00. Some of the fines for out-of-state violations are $750.00 or higher. Fortunately, for the scofflaws among us, these violations are rarely enforced.
For 2021, the Illinois Department of Public Health advises that outdoor areas are safer for trick-or-treating than enclosed indoor areas, like apartment buildings, that present a greater risk of transmission. Trick-or-treating in small groups for a brief duration at each door is highly recommended, as opposed to large groups. Hand washing is important, especially for those handing out and receiving treats.
From Martucci Law to all you little ghosts and goblins and your Moms and Dads waiting on the sidewalk: HAVE FUN AND STAY SAFE!