Kids in Scarborough could take advantage of one unintended consequence of superstorm Sandy: two Halloweens in one week.
“What a headache this has been,” said Officer Joe Giacomantonio, who has fielded several calls since a post went up on the Scarborough Police Department’s Facebook page asking residents to go trick-or-treating on Saturday instead of Wednesday.
Town officials made the decision early in the week based on Monday’s forecast, and despite Sandy’s minimal effect on the town, they’re sticking with the plan.
Scarborough appears to be the only town in Greater Portland to have changed the date of the Halloween tradition. Farther south, where the storm caused more damage, more towns have taken similar action.
The Berwick town office was closed Tuesday because it had no power. A notice on the town’s website said the town’s annual trick-or-treating event had been moved to Friday.
In York and Lebanon, candy collection for Halloween has been rescheduled for Saturday.
“We made the decision Sunday,” said Lebanon Selectman Jason Cole. “We’re really glad that we did.”
Cole, who is also assistant chief of the Lebanon Rescue Department, said Tuesday afternoon that two-thirds of the town was still without power and more than 40 trees were still leaning on power lines.
He said the mess will take four or five days to clean up — just in time for the clear weather forecasted for Saturday.
“We didn’t want kids going through all that debris trying to go door-to-door,” said Cole.
The Scarborough Police Department, which beefs up its patrols on the night of trick-or-treating, posted on its Facebook page Monday about the switch to Saturday.
Although many neighborhoods got through the storm unscathed, town officials wanted to keep the message consistent and avoid any rainy weather Wednesday night. “We don’t want to keep changing back and forth,” Giacomantonio said.
In addition to posting a notice on Facebook, which people have been sharing, the town sent a message to media outlets and put a sign board in front of the police station.
“This is nothing we have any control over or anything,” Giacomantonio said regarding what night costumed kids can take to the streets. “It’s just a community suggestion.”
York Town Manager Rob Yandow said a message was sent through the school department’s phone system to notify parents there about the change of plans.
The town got calls Monday from people wondering when to trick-or-treat, but the calls subsided “once we got the word out,” he said.
Lebanon officials have practice postponing Halloween. Last year, Cole said, trick-or-treating was put off for a day after a foot of snow fell.
Halloween “hasn’t worked out well for us lately,” he said.
Scarborough Town Manager Tom Hall said officials there don’t plan to make a habit of messing with people’s special-day plans.
“We will not be changing Christmas,” he said.
Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: