Again, trick-or-treating in Roscoe is Saturday, not Monday
Trick-or-treat hours in the Village of Roscoe will again be on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022 from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. During those hours, parking in Chicory Ridge will only be allowed on the even side of the street.
Residents of Roscoe Township - in fact, perhaps the entire 61073 zip code - seem to be following along. After all, the intricate geographical boundaries between village and township are not well understood.
The village's website says, "Trick or Treat is Saturday October 29th from 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. The Village of Roscoe has established the last Saturday of every October as the official ‘Trick or Treat Day’. This move has been made in the interest of our children’s safety, to eliminate the stress of rushing home from school and work for ‘trick or treating’, and to avoid the conflict with end of workday traffic and congestion."
Last November, Village president Mark Szula reported to the Board that he and Village Administrator Scott Sanders had been talking to other municipalities and, "I can tell you that some of the other surrounding communities are going to jump on board with changing it to the last Saturday of the month, which would benefit everybody in the region."
But this year, the City of Rochelle, 40 miles to the south, is the nearest Illinois municipality with a Saturday trick-or-treat schedule. The Village of Forreston, who had Saturday trick-or-treating in 2021, is back to Monday, Oct. 31 for 2022.
The Village of Roscoe trustees voted unanimously on Oct. 5, 2021 to change the date to the last Saturday on October, citing safety concerns. The question first appeared on the Sept. 21 agenda of the Committee of the Whole, which was open to the public, but no residents attended that meeting.
At the Aug. 3, 2022 board meeting, which several residents did attend, trustees Sue Petty, Mike Dunn and Carol Gustafson voted to go back to the traditional Halloween night, Oct. 31, while trustees Stacy Mallicoat, Justin Plock and Anthony Keene voted to keep the event on the Saturday before Halloween. The tie was broken by Village President Mark Szula, who voted to continue last year’s Saturday date.
The 2021 decision proved especially controversial in the Chicory Ridge subdivision, where trustees Justin Plock, Anthony Keene, and Mark Szula live. Last year the subdivision had more trick-or-treaters than residents had ever seen, clogging the largest streets with cars. One resident on Meadowsweet Lane said, "We counted 575 kids this year.... In years past we typically have between 125-180 kids."
But residents of other Roscoe subdivisions said they enjoyed the chance to give out more candy to more little people. Police Chief Jaime Evans told the board afterwards, "Sagewood would be your next biggest and there was no problem there."
Still, the traffic jams in Chicory Ridge prompted several Village trustees to propose improvements for 2022, including restricting parking to one side of the street. That's already true during the Chicory Ridge garage sale, which Village president Mark Szula said is "even crazier than Halloween."
This year Roscoe Police announced on Facebook, "During trick-or-treating hours in Chicory Ridge Subdivision, there will be no parking on the odd side of the streets. Officers will be patrolling the neighborhood and vehicles will be ticketed if they do not move."
John Broda, a Roscoe realtor, responded, "What about Meadowsweet Lane from Roscoe Rd to Merilot Dr? There are only houses on the even side. Parking should be on the odd side there to allow emergency vehicles and traffic to flow. Also Meadowsweet should be a one way out of the subdivision since there is a traffic light and Chicory Ridge Way should be a one way into the subdivision to ease congestion." Other residents say the decision should be put on the ballot as a referendum for a public vote.
Last year, one of the warmest supporters of Saturday trick-or-treating was trustee Anthony Keene, a Chicory Ridge resident and industrial safety professional. Keene said, "Not everybody is going to like it. But we're doing it for the right reasons, and I think if we stick to our guns, this will become the standard that they will go to." A 25 year analysis of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirms that it's more dangerous to be on the roads on Halloween. But when Halloween falls on a Saturday, fewer children are killed in traffic accidents.
Nationwide, more than 150,000 people have signed a petition to establish a National Trick or Treat Day on the last Saturday of October. The petition is supported by Party City and the Halloween & Costume Association, who have a commercial interest in the question, of course.
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