Friday, October 21, 2011

Insider’s Guide to Halloween: Where to Get the Most Candy and See Biggest Batch of Costumes

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 9:15 AM


Trick-or-treaters in Tucson and elsewhere already have it figured out, but a Halloween survey made it official: You’re more likely to get candy from folks who have a lot of cash.

The fact that many have it figured out is steadily apparent on Oct. 31, when chichi neighborhoods that usually house about 10 kids suddenly have more like 100 swarming through the streets. Those streets, of course, are clogged with cars bold enough to park in yards and in front of fire hydrants.

The survey that made the rich-give-more-candy theory official came from the survey research and consulting firm Morpace Omnibus, which last month asked 1,011 American consumers about their Halloween habits.

Those pocketing an annual salary of $100,000 or more are the most likely to give out candy, which makes sense since they probably have a few bucks to spare, with 77 percent of them saying they’ll be doling out treats.

Next up, as you would probably guess, are the annual earners of $55,000 to $100,000, with 67 percent likely to give out candy. Across the board, you can expect about 62 percent of folks to hand out candy this Halloween, which gives you OK odds of nabbing a treat in nearly anywhere in town.

What you might not guess, however, is you won’t necessarily get better treats—like Godiva chocolate instead of mini Tootsie Rolls—from the more affluent folks. The average amount spent on candy, regardless of income, is a solid $20.

If it is tricks you’re going for, we don’t need to the survey to tell us the place to find them is downtown Detroit on Devil’s Night, with the festivities on the days leading up to Halloween. While getting shot is always a possibility during this charming Michigan tradition, most of the fun is had by starting fires.

More than 800 fires were started during Devil’s Night heyday in 1984, although the flames have died down a bit in recent years. Only 119 were started in 2009 and 136 in 2008, yet the fun began a full three days prior to Halloween. Last year’s Halloween weekend saw 169 fires flaming away through the Motor City.

While you’ll certainly find a fair share of Detroiters dressed as arsonists around the October holiday, costumes elsewhere are more popular with people who earn less than $50,000 per year, the Morpace Omnibus survey said.

This applies to the adult population, with 36 percent of the adults in that particular wage range expected to dress in costume, compared to only 32 percent of adults who earn more than an annual $50,000.

Costumed adults are typically between 18 and 34 years of age, as if you might as well throw all the fun out the window once you hit age 35. Age 35 is, after all, technically time for your midlife crisis if you expect to live to around age 70.

What doesn’t make sense, however, is that Halloween costumes would not fit right in with the other stereotypical midlife-crisis stuff, like fast red cars older people end up driving slowly anyway and lovers that are younger than their kids.

Women and men are equally as gung-ho about dressing up, although the survey did not note which gender was more likely to end up in a really stupid costume.

The younger set, age 18 to 34, are also most likely to attend a Halloween party, with a full 54 percent ready for a fete, compared to the 29 percent of partygoers age 35 to 54. Unlike costumes and candy, annual income does not play a part in party-going statistics, perhaps because of the universal appeal of spiked cider and faux fog machines that transcends all economic levels.
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Ryn Gargulinski, aka Rynski, is a writer, artist, performer and poet. Her column runs in the Tucson Weekly print edition monthly and weekly on Friday on The Range. See more writing and art from RYNdustries at ryngargulinski.com and rynski.etsy.com.

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