Just when is Halloween?

Believe it or not, we — and our sister paper the Ahwatukee Foothills News — have gotten this question a lot this week.

The simple and obvious answer is Monday, Oct. 31. But what people seem to be after, via calls and emails from all corners of the East Valley, is when they’re supposed to trick-or-treat — or be ready to hand out candy.

“There are some municipalities, specifically in the Midwest or back East, that have ordinances (on trick-or-treating hours). So, we’ve gotten these calls in the past, especially from people who are from somewhere else. People want to know when they can go,” says Mike Delugt with the Chandler Police Department.

That answer is also simple: It’s pretty much whenever you want — provided your children adhere to city curfews in place every night.

In Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe, kids 15 and younger, unaccompanied by an adult, must be off the streets by 10 p.m. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds without grown-up supervision have until midnight.

But, then, most households aren’t handing out candy that late, anyway.

“The general approach is that you want to go after dinner or just after dark, when people will be home and expecting you,” says Delugt.

Tempe Police Sgt. Steve Carbajal also says going earlier in the evening is better.

“We always encourage people to be safe, and not be out very late if they don’t have to be, especially with little children,” he says.

If going door to door on a school night doesn’t sound like your idea of a happy Halloween, each East Valley city hosts some sort of community celebration, giving families a safe place to collect candy and observe the holiday. Find a listing of those events here.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or azajac@evtrib.com

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