Home > Complete Streets, Cultural Movement, Public Anecdotes, Question, Visual Stimulus, Walking > Halloween: The Night Suburbanites Crash the City

Halloween: The Night Suburbanites Crash the City

6th Street Halloween night 2011. (Click for larger view)

Does anyone know the history of Traverse City’s 6th Street as the region’s mecca for Halloween trick ‘o treating? Was there some lead agent back in the 50’s who called it to order? I grew-up in Lake Ann and certainly recall at least one Halloween night in the 70’s where we made the 18 mile drive for some sugary handouts.

Is it simply that more density = more candy in the least amount time? As the region has grown in population, it’s done so mainly through sprawl, as such TC’s neighborhoods would predictably see an uptick on Halloween; it is a walking holiday after all. Still, you don’t see the same number of goblins and zombies crashing Traverse Heights and other dense city ‘hoods. I suspect, in part, because of a lack of sidewalks and other features that make walking enjoyable.

Halloween is an annual walkability test–how does your neighborhood shape up? 

6th Street Halloween night 2011. (Click for larger view)

Related Articles

  1. November 1, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Yeah, it’s crazy in TC. We handed out candy to close to 2000 kids … and some adults who refused to grow up. I grumble a little about the nearly $100 candy tab but really it’s such a fun night – there’s an almost mardi gras atmosphere in town that I love.

  2. Beverly Gilmore-Fox
    November 1, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Don’t know about 6th Street, but I was “warned” 10 years ago when I purchased a home on West 11th that there would be 300-400 little goblins to feed, due to presence of Glenn Loomis, Central and Trinity Lutheran. Well, that was a grave underestimate. We prepare for 400, and our candy lasts about one hour tops. Last night, the tiny ones started coming at 5 o’clock. Then the street filled with cars and vans, and I believe they did come from the “burbs.” We struck the set at 6:30; still there were hundreds lining the sidewalks. It’s not so much fun when you can’t talk to the little people about who they became for one magical night.We are rethinking Halloween.

  3. Max
    November 1, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Should have gave the candy I bought to you. I used to buy candy every year and every year not a single person came trick or treating at my house. I didn’t buy any last year, and of course, that was the first year they came to my house. So I bought a few bags of candy this year, and not a single trick or treater was spotted anywhere in the neighborhood (south traverse heights). I guess they were all up on 6th Street! And now I have a stomach ache from eating so much candy for dinner and breakfast!

  4. Max
    November 1, 2011 at 9:56 am

    And now that I think about it, I’m sure they only came last year because there were some new families with small children in the neighborhood. By this year they’ve probably figured out that everyone heads to one TC neighborhood for candy and it’s not this one! It’s kinda disappointing since halloween is such a fun holiday and I like having kids come trick or treating.

  5. JohnRobertWilliams
    November 1, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I have always used one standard question to ask one’s self, as to where to live…..”Would your kids Trick-or-Treat there?” Our mantra at the STATE Theatre is, “A crowd loves a crowd!” Your excellent photo attests to that, Gary. Thank you!
    I lived on 7th Street for over a decade. Our record Halloween kid-count was just over 2100. Kids from Glen Lake would be brought in by school bus….(we recognized and asked them). Seventh Street has more houses than Sixth, thus more density=more candy sooner. Aren’t we lucky we live in such a desirable place? It’s odd that any house in the grid-street part of Traverse City is vacant.
    Realtor’s have their own mantra for house seeking clients; “The three things to take into account when looking for a house….Location, Location, Location”. How can you do better than in-town TC? Sprawl=unhappy kids.

  6. David Barrons
    November 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I’m stunned by your picture of Sixth street, last night. We live seven miles out of town in a neighborhood (20+ years old) that has seen big Halloween nights in the past.
    Even with new residents and a growth in younger families we had almost no trick-or-treeters last night. (8; four were very friendly, polite, high schoolers!) And it’s not walkability; we are walkable.
    We attributed it to a Monday night, and more and more community gatherings for Halloween, rather than open-street treating.
    But the 6th Street experience?? Something is going on! Is it that 6th is such an iconic street that harkens back to parents’ experience or expectation? So it seems like the place to go?
    Another cost of living in that part of town!

  7. Matt
    November 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I love it, T.C. is great for Halloween!

  8. Josephine Arrowood
    November 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I think Halloween is the number one holiday in the country. Re 6th St as the bull’s-eye, maybe has to do with the beautifullly restored Victorian homes and especially, the funeral home (aka the Perry Hannah house) nand the house on the end of that block with the bride manniken in the tower window! My (18 year old)”kid” went to Empire, just as fun, sans crowds and town size.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Send MyWHaT a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: