Halloween Petition Campaign Picks Up … in the Middle of July

Last fall, the Halloween & Costume Association started a petition to move Halloween to a weekend date. The petition just topped 100,000 signatures—thanks to an unexpected surge of midsummer interest.

Just because a campaign starts during a timely period of the year doesn’t mean it’s going to take off during that timely period.

That appears to be the lesson the Halloween & Costume Association learned last week after its nearly year-old campaign to change the date Halloween is celebrated went viral once again … in the middle of July.

Last year, when the campaign first kicked off, it had hit more than 10,000 signatures, eventually topping 50,000 signatures, but then progress slowed down for a while. In recent days, the campaign has surged in interest, gaining profiles in local and national news outlets, and this week it topped the 100,000 mark on

The petition, having met its goal of 75,000 signatures, will now be sent to President Donald Trump, to give him the opportunity to decide on the change.

The benefit of the date shift, according to the association, is a mixture of safety and flexibility: With Halloween being held on weeknights, it allows only a limited window to pass out candy and put on costumes, and it might make it so fewer safety discussions are going on—and in some cases, it can lead to kids trick-or-treating without their parents.

While the holiday has traditional ties to the October 31 date—which has roots in the late-October Celtic festival of Samhain and the Catholic holiday of All Saints’ Day, which is held November 1—its modern form is generally more associated with the distribution of candy, the wearing of costumes, and some festive partying, something the association says there will be more time for if Halloween isn’t held on a weeknight.

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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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