By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
For ghosts and goblins, it’s a dream come true — two nights of Halloween with trick or treating. Some Mercer County residents might want to make sure they have enough candy.
The Mercer County Commission moved the county’s official Halloween trick-or-treat night from Wednesday, Oct. 31 to Tuesday, Oct. 30 so it would not conflict with the Wednesday night services some churches conduct every week. However, the commission then received complaints from area residents who wanted to keep trick or treating on Oct. 31
A special meeting was convened Thursday to consider whether to move the county’s trick-or-treat night back to Oct. 31. After some deliberation and public comment, the county commission voted unanimously to keep the county’s trick-or-treat night on Oct. 30.
Trick-or-treat in Mercer County will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 30.
One other entity, the city of Princeton, also set this year’s trick or treating for Oct. 30. Mayor Pat Wilson, who attended Thursday’s commission meeting, said the city had decided stick with that date. Changing it now would cause too much confusion, Wilson said. Neighborhoods such as Quail Valley have scheduled the holiday for Oct. 30.
“A lot of people have already made their plans,” she said.
When members of the public were asked if they had anything to say about the subject of trick-or-treat dates, Pastor David Dockery of the First Baptist Church in Princeton pointed out that Halloween falls on Wednesday and Sunday only once every six years. He suggested that the county set a policy moving trick or treating to an alternate date whenever Halloween falls on these days.
“That way, everybody would know from the beginning what to expect,” Dockery said.
“I would like to make the suggestion that we accept Rev. Dockery’s suggestion and leave it on the (Oct.) 30th,” said Commissioner Jay Mills.
Commissioner Mike Vinciguerra and County Commission President Joe Coburn each said that the commission had received many calls from people complaining about the date change or wanting it to stay on Oct. 30.
Vinciguerra said he knew of churches that have canceled services due to Christmas and the Super Bowl. Dockery replied that each church was free to do what it wanted to do during the holidays and special events. Members of his church are encouraged to give candy to Halloween visitors along with Bible tracts.
Members of the First Baptist Church in Princeton offer a “trunk or treat” activity to children who come to Wednesday evening services, Dockery said. They often dress as Biblical characters, and church members waiting in the church’s parking lot offer candy from the trunks of their cars.
Many of Mercer County’s towns and other communities have scheduled their trick or treating for Oct. 31. Communities in neighboring McDowell, Monroe, Giles and Tazewell counties have also set their trick or treating events for Oct. 31.Ƅ