Today of course is Halloween and for the first time ever regardless of where you live in Ocean County it’s also Trick or Treat. 

Kevin's daughter Alex dressed as Snow White for Halloween (Kevin Williams, Townsquare Media NJ)

That’s because officials finally got smart and moved the Toms River parade to the Saturday before Halloween which ends years and decades of confusion.  So late this afternoon and into the evening kids of all ages will be combing neighborhoods looking for treats because nobody asks for tricks.

To me Halloween has always been a kid’s holiday although I guess there are a fair number of adults who for some reason like to dress us and join the action.  I have fond memories of going door-to-door in Seaside Heights as a youngster when you knew everyone in town and also knew who gave out the best stuff.

These were the days when you got little bags with all kinds of goodies, including candy corn which was loose but you ate anyway.  Simpler times when you did not worry about things like tainted candy.   Candy bars were big, not like the mini’s you give out and get today.  We even got treats like candy apples and bags of loose popcorn and the most popular destination was the home of then mayor Pat Tunney because he gave us money.

Kevin's son Brandon as a bumblebee (Kevin Williams, Townsquare Media NJ)

Halloween did not carry much significance again for me until I became a parent and we would dress our kids up and take them out.  We smile when we think back to the costumes they wore: Brandon (now 28) was a mouse, bumble bee, Donald Duck, a waiter and of course a bum because every boy does that at some point.  Alex (now 21) was a sunflower, a cowgirl, Snow White and a witch.  As they got older the costumes tended to be more of their own doing and often last-minute projects.  Halloween was often a chaotic day as your scrambled around the house, trying to coordinate everything while also making sure someone was home when kids came to the door.

For me it pretty much ended when the kids moved away.  Sure it’s fun to see the little ones come to the door and shout trick or treat and then eye up what you put in their bag but it’s not the same.  I find myself getting slightly irritated at those who don’t say thank you and the parents who watch their kids run on your lawn instead of using the driveway.

My biggest pet peeve is the older ones who go out at night but don’t really dress up and simply tag along with others looking for candy.  While Halloween is a fun time everyone needs to keep safety in mind.  Kids have to be careful when walking and drivers need to be on the lookout for Power Rangers, Monsters, Ninja Turtles, Minions and Witches.  Enjoy it and say thank you.