The city of St. Clair actually has an ordinance that deals with Halloween and when local ghosts, goblins and other creatures can go trick-or-treating.
During Monday’s board of aldermen meeting, Mayor Ron Blum was getting ready to dictate when the annual ritual would take place within the city limits when Police Chief Bill Hammack said there already was an ordinance in place that stated the hours.
City Attorney Kurt Voss could not immediately find the law in the code of ordinances, looking under “Halloween” and “trick-or-treating,” but the persistent Hammack produced it after going through the book.
Under Chapter 16, titled “offenses — miscellaneous,” Section 6 states that “persons participating in trick or treat in the city shall terminate their activities by 8 p.m. on Halloween Eve.”
In regard to the ordinance language, eve refers to Halloween night.
The ordinance, No. 616, was passed in October 1964.
Blum was going to establish a 5 to 8 p.m. time frame anyway before the ordinance was found.
The ordinance also dictates that, “no person over the age of 12 years will wear, don or cover his face by a mask or any other method that disguises the individual on Halloween Eve.”
Hammack said that part of the ordinance is rarely enforced, however, with children.
The law centered on the holiday also has one additional section. It deals with motorists.
“Any person operating a motor vehicle on Halloween Eve shall operate the motor vehicle at a slow rate of speed and exercise the highest degree of care considering the fact that small children whose faces and vision are obscured by masks may be using the street and that children may be clothed in costumes poorly visible to motor vehicle operators.”
In other words, individuals driving around town on Halloween need to use extreme caution, be on the lookout for children and drive slowly.
St. Clair area children and any accompanying adults are reminded to walk on sidewalks whenever possible and wear some kind of reflective or bright clothing to easily be visible.
On Halloween, residents who are passing out treats are reminded to turn their front porch lights on during the three hours. Children are only to approach those houses.
In addition, a trio of local churches have informed The Missourian that they are having events during the same time period on Thursday.
St. Clair First Baptist Church is sponsoring a fall festival from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the East Springfield Road parking lot across from the church. The theme is “Unmasked Heroes.”
Games and activities will be available for children, and candy will be distributed.
At St. Clair Southern Baptist Church, 405 Park Drive, church members will be handing out candy and other goodies as well as Gospel tracts and Bibles from 5 to 8 p.m. in the parking lot.
At Friendship Baptist Church, 630 N. Commercial Ave., its annual fall festival is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. Besides a trunk or treat activity, free food, hot chocolate, coffee and candy will be served to children and adults.
In addition, the church’s Word2U group will perform its puppet ministry.