Trick-or-treating the night before Halloween is a longstanding tradition in the Lovejoy neighborhood of Buffalo... but this year residents won't be handing out candy on Beggar's Night. Neighbors said it was time for a change.
When Terri Stefanski moved into Buffalo's Lovejoy neighborhood more than twenty years ago, she found they had in interesting tradition: Residents trick-or-treated the night before Halloween. Stefanski said, "Where I used to live they didn't have Beggars Night, they did it on Halloween. So I thought it was different and my kids liked it too, as well."
But as the years passed by, plenty more people discovered the tradition. They weren't all from Lovejoy. "Kids from all over, from all different suburbs and different areas, they started coming in. Then it wasn't as much fun as it used to be," said Stefanski.
Lovejoy District Councilman added, "You get carloads of kids from West Seneca, Cheektowaga, Sloan, coming into Lovejoy essentially raiding the candy jar of our Lovejoy kids."
All the extra trick-or-treaters means not just more people, but more candy, that's become a burden for some of the members of the Lovejoy neighborhood. Stefanski, the VP of the Coalition of Neighbors, said, "There are a lot of senior citizens living in this area and they couldn't afford the candy anymore and the treats. Therefore they don't open their doors. A lot of people are afraid to open their doors too because a lot of the kids are bigger."
Fontana says the problem has been building for years. This year the community decided Lovejoy would have a more traditional holiday. "People can still hand out candy on Beggars Night if they want, but i want the kids to know that residents are going to be told, hand out the candy on Halloween night, not Beggars Night this year," he said. "It's going to be more beneficial for our children and that's what they want, for our kids, for our neighborhood kids and for it to be safer" added Stefanski.
Stefanski and Fontana say Halloween's still important. Now they're just building new traditions.