Belleville, IL Mayor Mark Eckert is instituting a ban on kids over twelve trick-or-treating, and now other cities are following suit.
"When I was a kid my father said to me, 'You're too damn big to be going trick-or-treating. You're done,’" Eckert said. "When that doesn't happen, then that's reason for the city governments to intervene."
But should young teens be cut off from the magic of dressing up and scoring candy? October 31 is one occasion when big kids and little kids usually share a night of wholesome fun. Preschoolers have to traverse the same lawns as fifth graders; everyone visits to the same houses. I trick-or-treated until I was 18, and in this really innocent way, it allowed me to re-connect with my childhood. I acted like a kid: I dressed up, I raced my friends from house to house, and I sorted my candy in the exact same way I had been doing for more than ten years. If someone had told me, at age 12, that I was too old to do that, I would have been heartbroken.
Eckert reports that too many single mothers and senior citizens complained they were frightened by "6-foot-tall" kids begging for candy. But I wonder how big of a problem that actually is, and how much of a threat teenagers in costume really are. Would it kill people to throw them at least a Bit-O-Honey or something? Those things are teeny. (By the way, you know what Halloween party doesn't have an age limit? Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in Walt Disney World.)
What do you think? Is there an age limit for trick-or-treaters where you live? Do you think there should be?