Halloween falls on a Sunday and will be officially celebrated that day in Covington and Newton County, according to officials, but residents and organizations are split on when they're holding their own celebrations of the secular holiday.
According to both Covington Mayor Kim Carter and Newton County Chairman Kathy Morgan, Halloween trick-or-treating will officially be on Sunday. Main Street Covington and First Baptist Church will stage its Fall Festival from 4 to 6 p.m., Sunday on the square. See At Play, Page 6B, for a roundup of Halloween events.
Many churches and neighborhoods will also celebrate on Sunday, but several are staging events on Saturday. Each group has its own reasoning for celebrating on a different day, including not wanting to interfere with traditional trick-or-treating, the fact Sunday is a school night and not wanting to celebrate Halloween on the Sabbath.
Prospect United Methodist Church already held its fall festival this past Saturday, because Halloween is a school night and there are a variety of other functions taking place this weekend, the Rev. Ronnie Brannen said. However, for the 10 years he's been in Covington and the 19 years he spent in Carrolton before that, he's never heard of the holiday being moved for religious reasons.
In a post on The Covington News' Facebook site, Social Circle resident Carol Moseley said she remembered Halloween celebrations being moved to Saturday if the holiday fell on Sunday during the 1970s.
"But then too, most stores were closed on Sunday for the Sabbath," she wrote.
Most of the Facebook posters said Halloween should be celebrated on the day it occurs, regardless of what day that is. Some posters, including Andy Cartledge of Covington, said that if the holiday was to occur during a weekday it would be celebrated that day.
City Manager Steve Horton said in an e-mail in September, when questions were first being raised, that he remembered the day being moved, but he believed it was because of weather or other random occurrences, not because of any set policy.
Several communities around the country are moving the celebration to Saturday because of primetime football games, both for traffic and safety concerns.