Some said it was too long. And then it was too short.

The feedback was coming from Columbus residents in response to proposed Halloween trick-or-treat hours this year in the city.

“We had a lot of complaints it went on too long,” said Mary Ferdon, the city’s executive director of administration and community development.

Trick-or-treat hours in Columbus were from 5 to 8 p.m. last year.

But when some residents got wind that the city was shortening trick-or-treating this year by a full hour, from 5 to 7 p.m., more howling commenced.

In subsequent research of trick-or-treat times that had been set in 50 to 60 other cities, with results that were “all over the board,” Ferdon said Columbus struck a compromise between the too-long and too-short contingents.

The city’s trick-or-treat hours this year will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Candy-collecting hours in Columbus this year will be the same as in nearby Taylorsville and Elizabethtown.

“We’re trying to balance fun of the trick-or-treaters with the safety of trick-or-treaters,” Ferdon said of reducing hours this year.

That’s fine with one Columbus resident, Jeff Brown, whose daughter Michaela attends eighth-grade at Northside Middle School.

Brown said he doesn’t have any concern with this year’s hours, but said he wished trick-or-treat times were on the weekend rather than during the week — this year on Tuesday — because of student commitments such as homework and other activities.

As has become tradition, local residents are asked to turn on their porch lights to indicate they plan on distributing candy for Halloween.

In years past, FairOaks Mall on 25th Street has invited children and their families to collect candy in the warmth and protection of an indoor environment, going from store to store instead of door to door.

But not this year.

With the loss of several mall tenants in the past year, including JCPenney which closed in July, the annual Spooktacular trick-or-treating is off and the mall is focusing its Halloween efforts on a different seasonal event, mall manager Kim Showalter said.

The Night of the Thousand Jacks event, from 3 to 9 p.m. Oct. 28 at the mall, will help raise money for Advocates For Children, a nonprofit agency that provides help for children who have been victims of neglect or abuse.

Night of a Thousand Jacks drew an estimated 3,500 people to the mall in 2016 and raised nearly $18,000. The event moved indoors the prior year, from a downtown bank parking lot, when the impending weather forecast threatened the perennial outdoor event.

“We thought that would be a better promotion of the tenants that are here,”¬†Showalter said.

Also during the Halloween season, the Bartholomew County Public Library has organized a Fall-O-Ween Fest from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 on its plaza and near “Conversation Plinth,” one of the Exhibit Columbus installations. The event — at 536 Fifth St. — will include playing games, making masks, painting pumpkins and other activities, according to the library.

Oct. 31 trick-or-treat times

Hope: 6 to 8 p.m.

Edinburgh: Trunk-or-treat event at city’s parks department, 722 S. Eisenhower Drive, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Elizabethtown: 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Taylorsville: 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center, 1039 Sycamore St.: 5 to 7 p.m.

Author photo
Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or