Stormy forecast leads Tri-State communities to postpone trick-or-treating

If it snows on Christmas, do you change Christmas?

CINCINNATI – Faced with a wet and windy weather forecast, some communities quickly postponed trick-or-treat times while others -- maybe more hardcore about Halloween – are sticking to the plan Thursday night.

The City of Cincinnati plans to carry on with trick-or-treating as planned this evening, rain or shine. Changing the time would be too confusing since it's an event that is expected to take place on Halloween, said city spokeswoman Meg Olberding.

“This way parents can make the best decision they can. It’s one night and we hope that it will make for a safer night because everyone is expecting it tonight,” Olberding said..

In Lebanon, it's also trick-or-treat as usual, said Karen Graves, the city's marketing and media coordinator.

"We are treating this as any other outdoor event: It's rain or shine,'' Graves said, adding their times will remain as 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday. But she added that the city is advising parents, ghouls and goblins to be extra careful if it rains and to determine if they will take their kids door to door.

"It's really up to the parents’ judgment to decide what they want to do and plan accordingly,'' she said. 

Graves said that changing the date to Friday, which some communities have opted to do, unduly affects other community members – especially those with plans and those who may be attending school and or sports functions like high school football games.

Similarly, Mariemont decided to move its trick-or-treating time -- but all the way to Sunday, Nov. 3 due to football and senior night activities occurring over the weekend.

"Mother nature is not playing fair with us," said Graves. As many area municipalities have postponed times due to our unfavorable forecast, many of them are saying "rain or shine" Halloween activities will continue as planned.

Fairfield Township decided to push back trick-or-treating.

"We may be changing Christmas because of the chance of snow," jested Michael Rahall, the township’s administrator.

The township board decided Wednesday evening to change trick-or-treat day from Thursday to Friday based on several factors: A notice from the Butler County Emergency Management Agency informing them of the likelihood of severe weather, looking at what several other communities were doing and calls and Facebook posts from concerned residents.

"We really wanted to err on the side of caution,'' Rahall said.  "We saw that some communities have contingency plans. But we did not and we were not able to get an alternative in place in time, so the board decided to move it."

The decision in large part was driven by the township board president, who is also the Butler County EMA president.

He said Fairfield Township has fielded calls from some of its 22,000 residents for the last couple of days and most are happy with the township’s decision.

In Anderson Township the decision to postpone the holiday was due strictly to weather and safety.

"The decision was due to the wind advisory set by the National Weather Service. We are concerned with high wind speeds and debris that could hit children," said Vicky Earhart, township administrator.

"Our board of trustees makes the decisions. They met this morning and it was set by resolution," she said.

Faced with a tricky weather forecast, some communities sought to be creative. To keep the Halloween spirit, Boone County is offering an indoor trick-or-treating alternative. Trick-or-treaters will have the option to participate indoors at the Boone County Public Library branches in Burlington, Union and Florence as well as the branch located inside the Petersburg Community Center.

"We think it's going to be busy and crowded, [but] we've never done this before. We're psyched!" said Becky Kempf, Boone County Public Libraries' public relations coordinator.

The decision to change times isn’t one made at the county level said Warren County Administrator Dave Gully. Generally it falls on individual municipalities to decide.

In the early 80s when Gully was the township administrator in West Chester, he single-handedly changed trick-or-treat times when it was forecast to snow -- not rain -- on Halloween.

"Everybody wanted to change the date and we all looked around to see who was supposed to do this and I just said, 'Well I guess that would be me' so I changed the date," said Gully.

In Northern Kentucky, Covington is sticking with trick-or-treating on Halloween night. 

"We're keeping it. When did it become easy to move a national holiday? It's going to rain. If it snows on Christmas, do you change Christmas?" said Natalie Bowers, Covington's marketing and communications director. 

For parents wondering whether their community is on or off this Halloween, see the list below of communities that have postponed trick-or-treating

or check out our full list of trick-or-treat times by clicking here or at . If you’re still puzzled, call your municipality for updates.

Finally, if you know of a change that isn't cited in our trick-or-treat times below, please email us: and we’ll update our list. Reporter Jessica Noll contributed to this report.

Do you think trick-or-treating should have been postponed? Comment below or tell us on Facebook.

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