Clark County communities are divided over when to hold this year’s Beggar’s Night.
Since the Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett changed the long-standing date of Beggar’s Night from the Saturday before Halloween, to Halloween day, a handful of Clark County communities have made the decision to go their own way.
Communities keeping trick-or-treat on the Saturday before (Oct. 26) include Bethel Twp. (Park Layne, Medway and Crystal Lakes), North Hampton, Donnelsville, Tremont City and New Carlisle.
“It wasn’t a slight toward the sheriff,” said New Carlisle Mayor Mike Lowery. “I know she has a tough job to do and nothing but respect for her, but we just want to do what we thought was best of our community.”
Lowery said the city had heard a lot of comments from residents who wanted to continue the tradition of keeping Beggar’s night on the Saturday before Halloween .
“We took a lot of opinions and information in from our citizens from social media and phone calls to the city building,” Lowery said. “The overwhelming response to move it back and keep it on Saturday — it was kind of a no-brainer on our part.”
Not to mention, Lowery said, it’s just more convenient to have trick-or-treat take place on the weekend.
“It’s easier on parents that work late or kids or parents that have to go to sporting events for school,” Lowery said.
In the small community of North Hampton, Mayor Dave Young said their decision was more about safety.
The police force in the village is basically all part time, Young said, and calling all the officers in from their other full-time jobs on a Thursday would be tough on the village.
“If we were a large community that had full-time police officers, it would be no problem to call them in,” Young said. “But here, where everyone is on part time schedules, it’s hard.”
After Burchett announced the date of change of Beggar’s Night in order to, “keep consistent with neighboring communities,” an online petition popped out on Change.org title, “Keep Clark County Oh Beggar’s Night on the Last Saturday in October.”
As of Oct. 4, the petition had over 3,150 signature — with a goal of 5,000.
Despite the outcry, most communities are following the sheriff’s department lead.
Enon discussed moving the date of Beggar’s Night at a city council meeting, but instead voted to keep trick-or-treat on Halloween. Pike Township’s trick-or-treat will remain on Halloween as well.
According to a statement posted on the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Facebook, Burchett said she apologizes for moving the date, but knows there will never be a perfect date that fits everyone’s schedule.
“We understand that many people have historically planned their Halloween events following Beggar’s night being held during the weekend. We also have heard from just as many people thanking us and letting us know they appreciate the date being move,” the statement said. “We realize the change can be difficult and apologize for any inconvenience.”
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