Breaking News!!! Halloween will be….

Depending on where you live in the Town of Berryville, the annual observance of Halloween can represent anything from a joy filled evening of costumed children to a deluge of candy gobbling visitants ranging in age from toddlers to adults. The latter often represents a significant investment that can cost upwards of a hundred dollars to placate the the crowds. Regardless of where you fall in the spectrum of this time honored autumn event, the Town of Berryville would like to make the evening as safe and convenient as possible.

This year, October 31st falls on a Sunday. As a result Town Manager Keith Dalton brought a suggestion to the Town Council at Tuesday’s meeting to move the official day for “Trick or Treating” in the Town of Berryville to Saturday.

Mayor Wilson Kirby was immediately behind the idea saying, “I would prefer Saturday to Sunday.”

Ward Three Council Member, Mary Daniel, espoused a more traditional view of the holiday saying, “I like trick or treating on Halloween. Veteran’s Day and Columbus Day were both moved to Mondays, I like Halloween on the 31st.”
Laughing, Ms. Daniel turned to the town manger and   added, “So can you do something better, I want something more.”

Mr Dalton laughed but addressed the underlying ideas for the move saying, “As a parent I am concerned about getting the kids in, they are going to be up late on a school night. ”

Chief of Police Neal White expressed additional concerns saying, “I just have a staffing concern with it. As it is falling on a weekend I would anticipate more of the older kids being out involved in nefarious things on Saturday so to double up patrols on both Saturday and Sunday could be a bit of a burden.”

The idea, it turns out, is not unique to Berryville. Chief White added, “We also checked with other jurisdictions, specifically Jefferson County since we tend to get their overflow. They are doing it on Saturday as well, so we will have more local children on Saturday and not have to deal with overflow on Sunday.”

Consensus leaned towards Saturday but concern was raised over possible confusion. The town plans to notify residents of the official observance of Halloween in the next water bill due to go out September 25th. The town also plans to post the information on it’s website.

The council agreed to the change and the motion passed. So be prepared for the goblins, ghouls and movie characters on Saturday, October 30th and turn out the lights on Sunday.


  1. Mr Dalton … saying, “As a parent I am concerned about getting the kids in, they are going to be up late on a school night. ”

    So…Halloween on Saturday every year???? Come on….

    • Wewerethere says:

      Trick or Treating only lasts until 8pm (according to all of the notices we got in years past). So, the kids go to bed at 8:30pm on a school night…oh, boy!! What child is in bed before 8pm???

      I have a great idea…lets get all the holidays and lets put them together in one two week period. That should make it convenient for everyone!!

  2. Better excuse to move it:

    The 4o’clock NFL games will not be finished until 7:15ish…PLUS the 8pm NFL game that night is Pittsburgh at New Orleans. Cant miss TV! Selfish, maybe…valid point, yes.

  3. Sorry…guess I’m just a traditionalist. While I understand and sympathize with the reasons behind it, I just can’t agree with the change. Christmas is ALWAYS observed on December 25th. Independence Day is ALWAYS observed on July 4th. Veteran’s Day is ALWAYS observed on November 11th. Halloween is ALWAYS observed on October 31st. PLUS: Do we really want our children out on a Saturday night with the older teens and adults who plan to celebrate all weekend?

  4. Perhaps some see Halloween as sacrilege.

  5. Apparently the elders of this town forgot how much fun they had on Halloween!

    This is a day for children, not for adults to say when.

    The one night for kids and the elderly want it done their way.

    I didnt realize there was a scrooge of Halloween.


    • Where’s a good spooky Haunted House? Been to Luray, liked it. Any others in the area that compare?

      • going to be a great one in Leesburg at Paxton Manor –

      • I took a daytime tour of the Paxton haunted house and I have to tell you that, though not finished, it is the best I have been to in years. Even in the broad daylight I was jumping and screaming! Beware if you have a clown or spider phobia…or if you’re claustrophobic… I think it’s better than Disney, except you don’t get to ride through as in a carnival ride… They are still looking for actors so I volunteered and was treated royally. They are great folks and the proceeds go to the Paxton Chapter of the LARC – Loudoun Association for Retarded Citizens. Plus, it really is a haunted house, so you may get more than you pay for when you visit Paxton Manor… Supposedly Mrs. Paxton plays tricks on those working on the house. Visit the website, it’s great and has all the pertinent info. Do not use your gps as it will take you to an unused entrance, you have to enter off of Catoctin Circle inside the Exeter subdivision. See you there….

  6. Fly on the wall says:

    Ummm…Chief White, teens in Berryville are quite capable of doing nefarious things on any given evening, regardless of when Halloween is slotted.

    This is a lot of hullabaloo over nothing. If you want your kid in bed @ a certain time, you control that. But, to arbitrarily pass a ruling that affects the whole town because of your personal wish seems a bit of a reach.

  7. Pee Wee Herman says:

    Oh for Pete’s sake! This town is so freakin’ unbelievable! Mr. Dalton, you have been a huge thorn in this community’s side for quite some time. Now we have to change Halloween for your precious children? How about we do this: if you are so concerned about Halloween falling on a Sunday and you want to change the date because it will conflict with your children’s routine, keep the tradition going and just don’t take your kids….there….problem solved!

    The Chief and Town manager did a good job blindsiding the community on this. I thought that if a discussion to make a change at a town council meeting needed to be announced to the community before they can move on it?

    CDN, can you clarify this information for the us?

  8. Mary L. C. Daniel says:

    I represent Ward 3 on Town Counsel. I suppose I’m one of the “Elders” people keep referring to, but I try not to take offense. I also appreciate reasonable discussion. Here’s my attempt to contribute:

    I essentially espouse and therefore voiced the same sentiment as “JAFO” about changing the schedule of holidays, and was concerned it came up for convenience of parents. The article is subject to misinterpretation of Mr. Dalton’s comment, which I think was intended to remind me that the convenience of parents is not totally irrelevant; He then properly recognized the Chief of Police for the public policy reasons that supported their joint request. These included reasons of safety, of scheduling for our (small) police department, and of the already-announced decisions of surrounding jurisdictions to move it to Saturday. I found these compelling, and consented to the change.

    I have not checked, but believe this will not repeat again for about 7 years. Berryville Trick-or-Treating has routinely been held on school nights in the past, so the suggestion that “school night” alone would support such a change is historically unsupported. This is one of the many reasons I love Berryville, and am again looking forward to giving away $100+ of candy to total strangers next month, as predicted by the author.

    • MIke Dowling says:

      Thank you for your comment Ms. Daniel.

      As the author of this article, the tongue-in-cheek “Breaking News” headline on the article must have been lost to some readers. As for me, I will do my solemn duty and dole out handfuls of candy whatever night the kids show up and if you show up without a costume, you have to answer a math question. The more attitude you give me the harder the questions get. (How are you at square roots?)

    • Darren "Fly" Lambert says:

      Are people in Clarke County ever happy about anything?

      • Naked Truth says:

        Looks like they were until Dalton tries to change things for HIS own benefit. A couple of years ago, Halloween fell on a weekday. I guess his kids weren’t old enough then! So he wasn’t too concerned about my kids out on a school night.

        Nice TRICK, Dalton!

    • Fly on the wall says:

      Well stated, Mrs. Daniel.

    • Looks like we need to make some “changes” to the town counsel

    • Ms. Daniel,

      I’m afraid you may be overly optimistic in your assertion that this won’t take place again for another 7 years. While it would seem that “school night = change of halloween” wasn’t historically supported prior to 2010, you have now set that precedent.

      There are jurisdictions in other parts of VA and in MD who started along this same slippery slope, using similar arguments to justify such a change. Guess what? Now they celebrate Halloween on Saturday every year, regardless of how many days off the actual date that Saturday may fall.

      I guess Berryville doesn’t have bigger issues to address during council meetings? Times must be good.

  9. Although I agree with Ms Daniels about keeping the date traditional, I must point
    out that Veterans Day is always observed on Nov 11 regardless of the day of the week.

  10. CCHS Parent says:

    Mr Dowling, I want to say you do a wonderful job and I love that Berryville has the Clarke Daily news now.

    Darren “Fly” we have moved on to bigger and better things now for us Berryville people to complain about :~)

    As a parent I am out late every night due to cheerleading and football, get used to it Mr. Dalton!!

  11. Allan "Bugs" McWilliams says:

    Let’s see 10% unemployment, 1 in 7 people living in poverty home repo’s at an all time high, & people are concerned about what night we observe trick or treating.
    Life is good in good ole berville.

  12. I miss the days of John Hogan.

  13. Sigh.

    Agreed CCHS parent. Agreed. As a parent of five teenagers, two in college, two at Clarke public schools and one in private thats 22 miles away…I completely understand the late nights…and early mornings.

    Halloween is the 31st. Please keep it there.

  14. The reasoning makes no sense comparing us to other jurisdictions. Berryville is nothing like any of these supposed towns they speak of. I don’t care what they do in other parts of VA or WV.

    Jefferson County has underlying issues with Gangs, how could that be compared to Berryville? What are they trying to say?

    Chief White stated we get the overflow from Jefferson, will they be notifing them that Halloween is cancelled and will be held the night before? Big sign at the Stateline?

    These other jurisdictions they speak of all changed Halloween because their streets are unsafe to walk at night. YES, I lived in one of these areas before deciding to move here. It didnt work out, some kids came out on both nights, double dipping and their parents allowed this greediness.
    Are they trying to turn us into one of THEM?

    This Town should not be compared to others, this Town is unique, safe, traditional and I thought reasonable!

    Also stated that our Police dept is small, then tell me why they have the time and extra men for foot patrol in Watermelon park every single weekend during this summer?

    In my opinion this vote should have included the people of this Town! Instead we were all blind sided, not nice!

    “The town plans to notify residents of the “”official observance”” of Halloween in the next water bill due to go out September 25th.”
    The residents outside of TOWN of course are excluded from this information, knowing that they do not get water bills.

    So all said and done that Halloween is on Saturday. Are we going to be fined or arrested for not going along with this decision?

    • Michelle Graham says:

      This is the most absurd waste of time Mr. Mayor. Please earn your paycheck with issues that matter. Halloween is October 31st. Let’s leave it there! What a joke!

  15. Ummmmmm Halloween is not a national holiday. People need to get a grip.

  16. Lame.
    I mean come on. Do we really have to change the day of Halloween?
    This is Berryville. Not New York City.
    Nothing happens here.
    And parents should be in charge of what their kids are doing. It’s their responsibility.
    And really? Berryville has a 10pm curfew. And all the houses close up at like 9.
    So really. What trouble is there to cause?

  17. Rice St resident says:

    Halloween should be on the 31st. Period. If I’m home, and available to pass out candy, it will be on the 31st – not on the 30th. A lot of families from surrounding communities and rural areas come into town for trick or treating – how are they supposed to know not to come on the real Halloween?

  18. is this a joke says:

    I found this on the Town website..

    Halloween Trick-or-Treating

    Halloween trick-or-treating will be allowed in the Town of Berryville between the hours of 6:00PM and 8:30PM on Saturday, October 30, 2010

    “Allowed”, this has to be a trick or one big joke!

  19. Really, what does it matter as long as the kids have fun? I enjoyed it no matter when it was. Aren’t there other crises worthy of more important inspection? Will the kids no or care what night trick or treat is?

    Y’all are quite ridiculous. Is this interfering with your Saturday night plans, I wonder.

  20. trick or treat says:

    disposable traffic cones – trick or treat?

  21. Is there some way we can protest this decision, which was made without any public input whatsoever? Can a petition or letter be sent to the town council advising them that we wish to have them matter on the agenda for open discussion, not just the few who are at the meeting? If someone would assist me with the procedure, I would be glad to initiate it and post my findings here.

    • The Shocker says:

      I think that a petition in this instance is the proper path for showing public displeasure. Perhaps the farmer’s market, music in the park and perhaps even school events where the public gathers in mass are the right spots. Good luck, I will sign it…….