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National Survey Shows Mixed Results on How Residents Will Celebrate Halloween This Year

October 27, 2020
National Survey Shows Mixed Results on How Residents Will Celebrate Halloween This Year

- By Michelle Kobayashi -

During this challenging time of COVID and other community stresses, it is important to gather resident sentiment about how to celebrate Halloween in a safe way,” said Matt Fulton, Vice President of National Engagement at Polco. 

So Polco compiled national survey results to get a better sense of how communities across the country are planning to celebrate Halloween this year. Results from our national panel study show that residents are mixed both in terms of how they will celebrate and how they believe their community should handle the holiday.   

Household Plans

While one-third of residents are planning not to participate in Halloween activities, about one-half plan to hand out candy, trick-or-treat or attend a party. 

  Figure 1. Household plans for Halloween

How The Community Should Handle Halloween

When asked how the community should handle trick-or-treating given the current pandemic, most felt that the activity should be permitted. However, most felt the residents should be cautioned about measures to stay healthy while doing so.

  Figure 2. How Should Community Handle Trick-or-Treating?

Halloween Candy Even a Goblin Won’t Eat

While there are many important concerns about Halloween activities in the midst of COVID-19, we thought a little levity during the season might lift people’s spirits. To this end, we surveyed residents on their least favorite trick-or-treating candy. The biggest loser was black licorice-- and it may be for good reason. 

“People either love [black licorice] or hate it and, as far as I can tell, it’s not a learned like or dislike,” said Marcia Pelchat, an associate member of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, a nonprofit center which researches taste and smell, in an NBC News article.  

“I don’t know a specific gene that is associated with liking and disliking licorice. [But] it does seem to be something that people are born with.”

  Figure 3. What Candy Would You Like Least When Trick-or-Treating?

COVID-19 Halloween Survey to Help Local Governments Make Decisions 

Local governments can now collect this kind of data from their own communities. Polco is providing a short, COVID-19 Halloween Survey for local governments to gather feedback on what to do about the holiday this year. This helps leaders make more informed decisions about Halloween in their community. 

“Polco created the COVID-19 Halloween Survey to give local governments ideas from residents about how to keep the spirit of Halloween celebrations in place, while keeping everyone safe and healthy,” said Michelle Kobayashi, Senior Vice President of Innovation at Polco. Kobayashi has helped local governments maximize public opinion for over 25 years.

The survey even asks residents for their favorite Halloween song and least favorite Halloween candy. This gives leaders an opportunity to share some fun back out to the community via social media.

However you and your community plan to celebrate the holidays, we hope you have a Happy Halloween weekend!

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