Trick or Treat Moving to Sunday After All, Mayor Declares, Despite Contrary Law

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini speaking at a previous City Council meeting. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill’s Trick or Treat is moving to Sunday after Mayor James J. Fiorentini this afternoon decided the unexpectedly contentious issue.

Parents and others swarmed to WHAV News, writing and calling about their strongly held positions about whether the annual event should be rescheduled because of predicted rain.

“How can it be safe for little kids in pouring rain and high winds…wet leaves, dangerous roads and slippery walkways,” wrote one person in response to a WHAV social media post. Another said, “Can’t make everyone happy. Do what they did 40 years ago when we were little. If weather didn’t hold up, we were disappointed but we we’re taught how to deal with it. We had to wait ‘til next year. Oh well.”

Fiorentini conducted an online poll about whether he should change the date. However, a city ordinance is clear he doesn’t have that authority. Chapter 235 of the city code says, “The time frame for trick or treat in the City of Haverhill will be on the last Saturday in October for the hours of 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. only.”

Asked about the disconnect, mayoral spokesman Shawn Regan told WHAV, “The mayor made the decision in interest of public safety and putting safety of the little ghouls and goblins first.”

In 2014, Fiorentini faced the same dilemma. Then, he pointed to the city ordinance. “For about two decades, by local ordinance, trick or treat in Haverhill has been set to the last Saturday in October from 5 to 7 p.m. Most of the time, this is NOT the same day that other communities celebrate trick or treat,” he said.

WHAV’s Wave Weather meteorologist Jacob Morris said Saturday’s weather includes “rain throughout the day, heavy at times, with a high of 47, and windy with gusts of over 30 miles an hour.”