A quiet Halloween in Roscoe, but trick-or-treating the day before... not so quiet

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Traffic was moving slowly on Meadowsweet Lane in the Chicory Ridge subdivision by 5:00 p.m. as hundreds of trick-or-treaters visited Roscoe.

This year the Village of Roscoe trustees voted to permanently change the day for trick-or-treating in Roscoe from October 31 to "the last Saturday in October." Many residents want to change it back, as families from nearby areas drove in to Roscoe to enjoy an extra day of trick-or-treating, causing traffic congestion and candy shortages in popular destinations such as Chicory Ridge. Roscoe was the only Winnebago County municipality to make the change this year.

Many nearby residents who don't live within the Village of Roscoe weren't sure which day trick-or-treating was taking place, Saturday or Sunday. However, parents and children voted with their feet. So while the Village of Roscoe had made the decision, Roscoe Township residents handed out candy on Saturday. In Tresemer Estates, south of Hononegah Road, residents ran out of supplies with more children than they'd seen in years. Even in Hinkle's Wooded Acres off Atwood Road, which is mostly in Harlem Township but has Roscoe postal addresses, trick-or-treaters showed up on Saturday. None showed up on Sunday.

One of the busiest streets for trick-or-treating is always Meadowsweet Lane in the Chicory Ridge subdivision. Christine Beck, who has lived on Meadowsweet Lane since 2016, says "We counted 575 kids this year.... In years past we typically have between 125-180 kids." When she was little, her dad started a tradition of tallying up trick-or-treaters.

Half a block off Meadowsweet, Gar and Carrie's children enjoyed sitting at a table distributing candy. As he lit a small fire, Gar observed, "If I were a kid, I'd come here today and hit up Rockford tomorrow."

While many residents of Chicory Ridge enjoyed the Halloween experience on Saturday, others felt it was too crowded. Angelique Thomas, who lives in the back of Chicory Ridge, says her family "started out having a great time" trick-or-treating south toward Roscoe Road, but "by the time we made it to Angelica and Meadowsweet it was pandemonium. Not because people in our neighborhood were out with their families but because of the truck loads of people coming in from all over." Rockton-Roscoe News spoke with families who came from Rockford and Loves Park.



Visitors were appreciative. Most children said "Thank you." Shelley Brien from Rockton enjoyed the chance to take her youngest daughter to Chicory Ridge by 4:00 p.m. on Saturday while still getting to stay home to hand out candy on Sunday, "which is my favorite part, seeing all the littles and costumes and friends." For next year, she suggests that "the beginning of Meadowsweet and Chicory Ridge Way" should be designated No Parking, "because it’s too hard to get around when everybody is walking back to their cars and it’s dark, plus the ambulance couldn’t get out." According to reports, police had to escort an ambulance through the crowd.

Sunday evening, Halloween in Rockton was pleasant. Wendy Eltman said, "In Kensington they were so cute and so polite! Loved seeing them all. I am at a quiet end and had about 75... My door handle broke when I was opening the door, and one child even said, 'Sorry about your door handle!' Made me smile."

LeighAnn Ackerman reported on Sunday, "Rockton is having a blast with all the kids walking the neighborhood as normal. Nobody driving cars at all."

Susan Pierson agreed. "Rockton trick or treaters had a wonderful time tonight. No traffic problems and families walking together."

Other municipalities have experimented with trick-or-treating on days other than Halloween. Besides Roscoe, this year trick or treating in Forreston, Illinois was also scheduled for Saturday evening. According to their website, Forreston is "about 12 miles south of Freeport and 20 miles north of Dixon" in Ogle County. In years past, Belvidere has also tried having trick-or-treating the day before and reportedly had busses lined up with thousands of children. Residents pointed out that the strain on Roscoe would be lessened if other municipalities joined them in rescheduling trick-or-treating.

Photo: Shelley Brien. Chicory Ridge, Roscoe IL, October 30, 2021
Christine Beck counted 575 trick-or-treaters who came to her house in Chicory Ridge on Saturday night, four times as much as usual.
Gar and Carrie wait with their children for the next group of trick-or-treaters in Chicory Ridge on Saturday, Oct, 30, 2021.
Trick-or-treaters at Gar and Carrie's house in Chicory Ridge line up and say Thank you on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.
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