Okeechobee has no trick-or-treating age limits

OKEECHOBEE — Setting an age limit on trick-or-treating is a hot topic this year, with many advocates on both sides of the issue. Chesapeake, Va., has recently been in the news as the town with an ordinance banning anyone over the age of 12 from trick-or-treating with a possible penalty of a fine of anywhere from $25 to $100 and/or up to six months in jail. The reality, though, is that Chesapeake‚Äôs ordinance is not new or unique. Many towns have had similar laws on their books for years. Virginia Beach; Suffolk, Va.; Holly Springs, N.C.; Apex, N.C.; and Upper Deerfield Township, N.J., are just a few.

The majority of these towns do not normally enforce these laws. They are on the books in case law enforcement needs to nip a problem in the bud. If older trick-or-treaters are causing any type of problem, law enforcement can then use the law to send the children home or if absolutely necessary, fine them or even arrest them.

Those who are against the age limit believe trick-or-treating keeps teens out of trouble on Halloween, and taking it away from them will cause more problems. Many also express concern about special-needs teenagers and adults who enjoy trick-or-treating. The laws usually do not address these concerns.

Okeechobee does not have any age limit on trick-or-treating at this time, and Chief Bob Peterson says there are no plans to change this. He explained Okeechobee normally does not have problems on Halloween, and the adults have as much fun as the kids do. He has no plans to take that away from them.

Halloween

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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