Halloween is an American tradition that shows no sign of disappearing. U.S. spending on the spooky fall holiday is expected to hit $9.1 billion this year, up 8.3 percent from last year. According to the National Retail Federation, $3.4 billion of that is expected to be spent on costumes, with $2.7 billion on candy and an additional $2.7 billion on decorations.
Whether you’re a youngster dressing up as a superhero such as Wonder Woman — tops in popularity this year — or an adult going as one of several popular Game of Thrones characters, Halloween is a fun family holiday. However, it is important to keep one eye on safety. While some areas of the western communities are not designed for the traditional routine of door-to-door trick-or-treating, there are many safe, family-friendly group celebrations.
Wellington has two major Halloween events on the agenda. Its Fall Festival is this Saturday, Oct. 21 from 3 to 10 p.m. at Village Park on Pierson Road, while the popular Trunk or Treat will take place Saturday, Oct. 28 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Wellington High School student parking lot.
Wellington’s Fall Festival includes bounce houses, face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides and trick-or-treating. There’s a “Haunted Hallways” experience, as well as laser tag for the first time. There will also be two costume contests, as well as pumpkin pie eating contests for children and adults.
Trunk or Treat, put on by Wellington’s Community Services Department in conjunction with the WHS DECA Club, will take place at the high school. The free Oct. 28 event allows children in the community to trick-or-treat in a fun, safe atmosphere. Decorated vehicles are set up in tailgate fashion, and children go car to car for treats.
The Village of Royal Palm Beach will stretch its popular Fall Fest event over two days of fun, music and activities on Friday, Oct. 27 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 28 from 1 to 9 p.m. at Royal Palm Beach Commons Park. Costume contests take place at 3 p.m. Saturday, while trick-or-treating starts at 5 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. There will also be a kids fun zone with rides, slides, activities and games. New this year is a haunted hayride, which will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. each night. Since costuming is a variation of cosplay, Fall Fest will include musical versions of the tribute style, including AC/DC tribute band Thunder Jack, Van Halen tribute band Completely Unchained and the Blues Brothers Soul Band.
On Halloween itself, the Mall at Wellington Green will host a free MallStars Halloween Trick-or-Treat event on Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. Monsters, superheroes, princesses, kings and queens, ghosts and ghouls — all 10 years old or under — are invited to have a good time dressing up in their Halloween finest for mall-wide trick-or-treating at participating retailers.
Up in The Acreage, the Acreage Landowners’ Association will host its annual Halloween-themed Rocktoberfest event on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 5 to 10:30 p.m. at a new location this year, Samuel Friedland Park, located at 18500 Hamlin Blvd., with music, food trucks, costume contests, a kids zone and more. On Halloween, the community will once again gather trunk-or-treat style along Citrus Grove Blvd. for a family-friendly event that has been growing in popularity for many years.
Regardless of how you spend your Halloween, we encourage you to be safe and stay with a group of people, particularly when out after dark. Get more Halloween safety tips at www.cdc.gov/family/halloween.