Trick or treat hours in Chelsea will now begin at 5:30 and end at 7:30 p.m.
After more than 30 years of little hobgoblins roaming the streets from 4-6 p.m., the Chelsea City Council unanimously voted Tuesday, Sept. 25 to push the start time forward an hour and a half in response to an online petition from residents.
A little more than two weeks ago, Danya Hallsell, a Chelsea parent, began an online petition requesting the city change the hours, and more than 300 people supported the idea. She first appealed to the City Council for the change on Sept. 11.
City Manager John Hanifan prefaced the voted with a little history. He said that for the last 30 or 35 years, Chelsea’s trick or treat hours have been 4-6 p.m. and after looking at the hours throughout Washtenaw, Oakland and Livingston counties, the city was the only community with those hours.
“Some are 5-7, some are 5:30-7:30 and some are 6-8 p.m.,” he said, adding that if the City Council was looking for direction from him, “It seems logical to slide them back a bit.”
Hallsell said that more than 318 people had signed the online petition and 111 had left comments. Surprisingly, she said, there had been no negative comments.
When asked his opinion, Police Chief Ed Toth said he’d stay “neutral.”
Toth said he had spoken to a Kiwanis member — a group that has historically hosted a Halloween party following trick or treating — and told him that if it’s still light out, it’s safer than if it’s dark out.
“There have been no issues in the six years I’ve been here with trick-or-treat,” Toth said, adding that whatever the City Council decided to do, “We’ll be out patrolling.”
The comments on the petition ranged from having to take time off work to get their children ready, to residents missing out on handing out because they didn’t get home in time from work. Others comments included not seeing the traditional lit pumpkins and assorted decorations that are best visible after dark.
Council Member Marcia Parker said, “I’m fine with this; life has changed quite a bit over the last 30 years.”
“Ms. Hallsell, thank you so much for your initiative in this,” Mayor Jason Lindauer said following the vote.
The motion was moved by Council Member Cheri Albertson and seconded by Council Member Ann Feeney.