Thursday, October 19, 2023

Sweet streets

Halloween holiday celebrations planned throughout communities

Next week, angels, princesses, superheroes and maybe even a vampire or two will begin to appear on neighborhood streets throughout the area as Halloween celebrations begin.

While the fun has always included the sweet treats distributed to all ages from neighbors, civic organizations and at community events designed to keep the smallest costumed Dracula or Hulk safe, there are a few doubtful facts of little known value associated with the holiday. 

The holiday dates back more than 2,000 years and started as a pre-Christian festival celebrating the last day of the fall harvest and spirits crossing over, since the Celts believed the veil between the living and spirit world grew thinnest at that time. People in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Northern France used to ward off ghosts by lighting sacrificial bonfires, and - you guessed it - wearing costumes to trick the spirits, according to

As the story goes, an Irish man named Stingy Jack tricked the devil and therefore was not allowed into heaven or hell - so he spent his days roaming the Earth carrying a lantern; hence the name “Jack of the Lantern.”  Jack-'o-lanterns did originate in Ireland, after all. Once Halloween became popular in America, people used local produce like pumpkins instead. 

When the Irish fled the potato famine that devastated their country in the 1840s, they brought their Halloween traditions with them to American shores. The celebration spread across the country, until mischievous Halloween pranks reached an all-time high in the 1920s. Some believe community-based trick-or-treating became popular in the 1930s as a way to control the mischief.

As for the traditional candy corn, it was originally called “chicken feed.” The sugary recipe has gone largely unchanged since the 1880s. Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't argue with that kind of consistency.

And speaking of sweets, Skittles remains the top selling and most wanted Halloween candy, according to The bite-sized fruit candies outranked M&M's, Snickers and Reese's Cups, according to 11 years of sales data. Although candy corn made the top 10, the tricolored treats also ranked among the worst Halloween candies, according to a survey. 

Only Christmas shoppers outspend Halloween. Consumers spent approximately $9 billion on Halloween in 2019, according to the National Retail Federation. The largest share goes toward candy, with 95 percent picking up the sweet stuff, 75 percent planning on buying decorations and 65 percent shopping for costumes. 

Halloween celebrations are plentiful throughout the area. Here are those we found at press time, although there may be others added since then. 


The annual Booville celebration in downtown Belleville is planned for 5 until 7 Tuesday Oct. 31. Local downtown businesses will be handing out candy to treaters.

Sumpter Township will again host the popular Trunk or Treat Halloween celebration in the parking lot of the Community Center.

The annual event is planned from 6 until 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30. Those who wish to take part in distributing candy to costumed children need to make a reservation for a parking spot from which to hand out treats.

To reserve a parking spot, call (734) 256-4406. The best decorated trunk at the event will be awarded a prize, organizers said.

The community center is located at 23501 Sumpter Road.

The Sumpter Township Fire Department will host the annual 3-hour Trunk or Treat event beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday at the fire station. Organizers said the event will include candy, food and fun for everyone. The fire station is located at 20550 Sumpter Road in Belleville. 


The Canton Trick or Treat Story Trail returns on Saturday, Oct. 21. Costumed visitors can join Canton Leisure Services and Canton Public Safety in Heritage Park for trick or treating along the story trail in select timeslots from 1-3 p.m. The feature story is appropriate for all ages, organizers said. Pre-registration is required for every trick-or-treater, regardless of age.  Per-person fees are $10 for Canton residents and $13 for non-residents. For additional information or to register, visit  

The Village Arts Factory, in partnership with Canton Leisure Services staff, has organized the Kids' Halloween Stroll at the Village Arts Factory from 4 until 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, with games, music, treats, decorations, and costumes. Trick or treaters can travel from studio to studio as they stroll among fun interactive stations located throughout the warehouse building, located at 50755 Cherry Hill Road. This event is geared toward younger trick-or-treaters ages 12 and younger and will feature non-scary festive seasonal music and decorations. In addition, a sensory-friendly timeslot is planned from 4 -5 p.m. All participants are encouraged to wear costumes.  Pre-registration is required. Tickets are $5 and are available online only at 

Tickets for these spooktacular events are available at For additional information, visit or call (734)394-5460. 


A Halloween Haunted Festival is planned for 5 until 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31 at the Booker T. Dozier Recreation complex, hosted by the Inkster Police Department.

There will be a Trunk or Treat event for children and a contest for the best decorated trunk. There will be a separate, special contest for the best decorated police trunk, organizers said. The event will include music, a raffle and a haunted locker room for the bravest in attendance. Cotton candy, popcorn, cupcakes, hotdogs, chips and drinks will be served while supplies last, organizers said.


Trick or treating in Northville is planned for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.

The event, organized by the Northville Chamber of Commerce, will continue for 2 hours and 30 minutes and will take place in downtown Northville on Main Street between Wing and Hutton streets and on Center Street between E. Cady Street and Dunlap Street. 

The event is free and open to the public.

The famous Northville skeletons have returned to downtown and are displayed throughout the area. 


The annual celebration of spooky season is set for 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22 in downtown Plymouth.

Pumpkin Palooza, the traditional free Halloween themed event, usually brings hundreds of children of all ages, including the young at heart, to downtown Plymouth streets for a day filled with costumes, games and trick-or-treating fun.

Many downtown streets will be closed during the event to ensure the safety of the event for children. Costumes are encouraged and several costume contests are planned, including a contest for pet Halloween costumes.

The event includes music, dancing and family-friendly entertainment. 

The free event is organized by the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce. Sponsorships and vendor slots are still available. Learn more at


The spookiest house decorations in Romulus will be awarded honors from the city this year. 

City officials said they want to see residents and businesses in Romulus with the best outdoor Halloween decorations. 

To be considered for the title of Spookiest House in Romulus, direct message one clear photo to the city Instagram or Facebook page @DowntownRomulus or email to  cbradley@romulusgov. com. 

Entries should also include the full name, phone number, and address of the entry with the photo. The public will vote for the spookiest decoration on the city Facebook and Instagram pages @DowntownRomulus. Voting will begin shortly after submission deadline and will end at 10 a.m. Oct. 31.The winner will be announced on the city social media pages and contacted separately. A map of Romulus Trick or Treat sites is below.


HYPE Athletics will help Wayne residents mark the holiday with a spooktacular time at the City of Wayne Trunk or Treat event. The celebration will continue from 4:30 until 6 p.m. at Atwood Park in Wayne on Saturday, Oct. 28.

A special 4 p.m. opening time is planned for those with disabilities, organizers said. 

The event will be filled with candy, fun and free treats and costumed treaters will follow a safe path through Atwood Park, weaving around the soccer field, all while collecting candy.

As an added bonus, cider and donuts will be served on a first come, first served basis, organizers said, and urged the costumed children to arrive with parents early to ensure there are plenty of goodies still available.


There will be a Truck or Treat event from noon until 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 at Westland Historic Village Park at 857 Wayne Road. The event is free.

The 18th District Court parking lot will be the site of another Trunk-or-Treat event from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25. This is also a free event.

The court is located at 36675 Ford Road and this is a free family event designed for those 12 and younger. Entertainment and a DJ will be provided by The Dance Academy.

Costumes are encouraged, organizers said.

Another Truck or Treat is planned for 5 until 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26 hosted by the Volunteers of America at the Westland Thrift Store located at 34800 Warren Road in Westland. This event is also free. Visitors are urged to wear their costumes and can trick or treat around the parking lot with staff members.

A Westland Halloween Festival is planned from 1 until 3 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 21 at Nankin Mills Park, 33275 Hines Drive in Westland. 

Free event activities include: hayrides; inflatables; games; candy giveaway, entertainment featuring the Amazing Clark Puppet Show at 1:15 p.m. and magician Jim Abbot at 2 p.m.

There is no fee or pre-registration required for this free event. Costumes are welcome but not mandatory for the Halloween Festival, organizers said.