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Date of Issue: October 25, 2007

Trick-or-treat tradition carries on with 'Trail'

Expect to come across a devil or two next week, as well as a number of fairies, witches, princesses, pirates and pumpkins.

The annual Trail of Treats, sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, will begin at the chamber’s office, 5313 Gulf Drive, at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Participants, after a review of the masquerade, will follow maps to local business venues offering treats to avoid any tricks.

Island residents can also expect to find trick-or-treaters at their front doors. Though the numbers have been declining for decades, about 31 percent of children ages 5 to 13 go trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.

This year’s most popular children’s costumes include devils, pumpkins, witches, princesses and angels, according to the NRF. Spider-Man, Harry Potter and Disney’s Hannah Montana also are popular.

NRF’s survey found that about one-third of adults also will put on a costume next week and, like the children, favorite choices include witches and princesses, as well as pirates, vampires and other horror creatures.

West Manatee Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Barry Brooks in recent years has been fond of his Jason “Friday the 13th” Voorhees mask, but look for him as Freddy “Nightmare on Elm Street” Kruger this year.

“I bought the mask and hat,” said Brooks, who last went trick-or-treating at age 14, but still gets into the spirit of the holiday.

The Islander recently polled trick-or-treaters of Halloweens past and some who expect to venture out Oct. 31 to name their favorite holiday treats.

Brooks named Rice Krispy treats.

Nine-year-old Caleb House said he favors the sweet and sour stuff. “Sour apple sticks are the best,” he said, “but also sour grape and sour cherry, but I don’t like Warheads.”

Holmes Beach resident Barbara Hines, who might decide to costume this year as a wild parrot, said she prefers to find Hershey chocolate in her treat bag. “I was born and raised in Hershey, Pa.,” she said. “Summers during college, I was a guide in the Hershey chocolate factory. My family were chocolate workers.”

Chocolate candy bars, especially Nestles Crunch and Milky Way, also topped 13-year-old Rachel Hewson’s list. “I like the fun-sized because then you don’t like eat too much,” she said.

Many others, like travel agent Pieter Hahn and lawn-and-garden caretaker Charlie Daniel, said candy corn was the ultimate Halloween treat.

“Today it still reminds me of Halloween, besides, now it is fat free,” said Daniel, who last year dressed as a “snowbird” for the holiday.