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What Are You Doing This Weekend? Halloween Plans by the Numbers

14:00 October 27, 2020
By: Blake Anderson

The Coronavirus pandemic has put the world on pause since April. This year, school was cut short, Fourth of July was cancelled, and birthdays were celebrated on the couch. With Halloween so close, Premise Data was curious how the COVID-19 disease and the safety guidelines put in place would affect Halloween. With data from over 1,300 U.S. residents, they also looked at the statistics for every state, including Louisiana. Premise Data took data on people's Halloween plans last year, just five months before COVID-19 hit the United States, to compare them to Halloween plans for 2020. Although the data comes from residents all over the country, responses depend heavily on location and age. And one thing appears very clear: Louisianans are much more inclined to forge on ahead with their plans for a Halloween as usual.

Dressing up is one of the most fun parts of Halloween—you get to be someone different for a night. In the U.S., the percentage of people who wore a costume in 2019 for Halloween and the percentage of people who will wear a costume for 2020 are the same, at 39 percent. In Louisiana last year, 39 percent of people wore a costume, while this year, 44.5 percent plan to dress up.

In 2019, 46 percent of people decorated the outside of their house, and 43 percent decorated the inside. This year, both of those percentages decreased slightly, with 44.5 percent of people decorating the outside and 40 percent decorating the inside. In Louisiana, half of the respondents decorated the inside of their house in both 2019 and 2020. Meanwhile, more Louisiana residents decorated the outside of their house this year than in 2019, increasing the percentage from 33 percent to 44.5 percent. Perhaps people needed a little boost of festivity this year, especially in such a safe manner as decorating. Or, perhaps they chose to decorate in lieu of other more social group activities.

When asked what their plans for the Halloween night was, the answer "None" was the fourth most popular answer, compared to last year, when it was the second-to-last most common response. For obvious reasons, trick-or-treating will also be down this year: Last year, 27 percent of U.S. residents went trick-or-treating, while only 19 percent of residents plan to do so this year. Similarly, in 2019, the percentage of American residents who went to a Halloween event was 22 percent, but this year, that percent has dropped to 17 percent of residents who intend to go to a Halloween event. However, in Louisiana, both the percentage of people with no plans, those going to a Halloween event, and "other" plans did not increase or decrease from last year to this year. Even though the percentage of people without plans stayed at 17 percent, this was more popular than going trick-or-treating this Halloween, which decreased from 22 percent to 16.7 percent.

Out of the 16.7 percent of U.S. residents who do intend to go to a Halloween event, 64 percent plan to attend a family or friend's Halloween party, 45 percent will be going to a haunted house, 39 percent want to engage in a community event, and 33 percent of people will be visiting a corn maze. Last year, only 30 percent of people who attended a Halloween event went to corn maze. It is surprising that the percentage increased this year, considering that a corn maze can be considered a "moderate-risk activity." Only six percentage of respondents are planning to celebrate Halloween virtually, but they have come up with some creative ideas. Some plan to host an online Halloween movie marathon, and some will throw a virtual costume contest. Louisiana residents will be attending community events and Halloween parties this year as much as they did last year. In 2019, corn mazes were at the bottom of the list of things to do for Halloween, but this year, they were not. This Halloween, Louisiana residents chose to go to a haunted house, unlike last year. Even with the CDC's recommendations, the changes from last year are minimal.

Trick-or-treating is one of the main events of Halloween, and sadly, it will not be the same as usual. With the pandemic, only 52 percent of parents plan to let their kid trick-or-treat this year. And of the parents taking their kids trick-or-treating, 63.5 percent said that they are making their kids wear a mask, while 22.5 percent of parents said they are not. The remaining 14 percent was unsure about what they would do yet. As for the 25 percent of parents saying that they will not be taking their children trick-or-treating, there are three main reasons why. Approximately 52 percent of them said that they won't be going because of COVID, 18 percent said that they won't go because of the local social distancing guidelines, and 13 percent simply have no interest. Only two percent said that they were not going due to local mask-wearing policies. In Louisiana, the entire 100 percent of respondents with kids said that they will be taking their child trick-or-treating this year. When asked if they will be requiring their child to wear a mask, 86 percent said yes while 14 percent said no.

This year, only 30 percent of American residents plan to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters. Almost half of the U.S. residents will not be handing out candy this year (48 percent), and the remaining 22 percent are still unsure. For those who are handing out candy, 63.5 percent will be personally handing out candy, while 32.5 percent will be leaving a bowl of candy outside for people to grab from. Louisiana residents are close to being evenly split when it comes to whether or not they plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters: 44 percent will not be handing out candy, while 39 percent will be. The remaining 16.7 percent are unsure. Of those candy-giving Louisianans, 71 percent will be personally handing out the candy while 29 percent will be leaving a bowl of candy out. The most popular candy this year is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, voted by 15 percent of respondents. Almond Joy, Baby Ruth, Blow Pops, and Butterfingers were also voted among the favorites of this year.

Whatever you plan to do, be sure to enjoy a safe Halloween.

[Haley Phelps/Unsplash]

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