Our Northwest

Some of us journey for our Halloween candy

Wednesday, October 21, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

We’ve all heard of parents who take their kids to distant neighborhoods on Halloween where they expect to find bigger or better candy, right?
     I heard such stories from classmates in elementary school. And now, our latest PEMCO Poll reveals that 25% of Northwest residents would travel to a different neighborhood to take their kids trick-or-treating, and 17% admit they go to places most likely to “give out the best candy possible.”
     I grew up in the middle-class Lake Hills community in the 1960s, part of unincorporated King County at the time. We only half-jokingly called it “the poor part of Bellevue.” Kids there enjoyed comfortable childhoods in nice new suburban neighborhoods, but we were not the swanky part of town.
     A 3rd-grade classmate once bragged that his parents drove his family and friends to Somerset each year on Halloween. (Somerset, to us kids, was the swanky part of the Eastside – fancy homes on a big hill with sweeping views of Lake Washington and Seattle.) Why Somerset? “The houses there give out full-size candy bars!” he exclaimed.
     Hearing this provoked envy. My friends and I were allowed to trick-or-treat in our own surrounding blocks (“No ringing doorbells after 8 o’clock, and no eating unwrapped candy!”), but our parents would never drive us across town for a better haul.
     If I sound ungrateful, I’m not. Halloweens were great. We had plenty of fun and collected enough candy to last for weeks. Well, maybe one week.
     The PEMCO Poll also revealed that 65% of Northwest residents say the way they celebrate Halloween has changed over time, with 29% saying it’s changed a lot.
     The follow-up question didn’t specifically ask “how,” but I suspect it’s connected to other findings from the poll. For example, 36% of people age 55+ say they’re less likely to hand out treats now compared with years past.
     That may be tied to another finding: 24% of all residents say they’re more likely to trick-or-treat at a retail location than in a neighborhood. Perhaps fewer people hand out candy because fewer kids are ringing doorbells?
     Read our news release to learn more, such as who is likely to dress up in costume, or to host or attend a Halloween party.

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