The observance of Halloween, which dates from the Dark Ages, has long been associated with thoughts of the dead, witches, ghosts, devils and other hobgoblins. In the United States, the first recorded instance of a Halloween celebration occurred in Anoka, Minn., in 1921.
“Trick or Treat!”
The estimated number of potential “trick-or-treaters” — 5- to 13-year-olds — across the United States in 2003, a decline of 274,000 from 2000. Of course, many “kids” older than 13, and younger than 5, also dress up for the holiday.
Number of states that, contrary to the national trend, experienced an increase in their elementary school-age population (children between 5 and 13) between 2000 and 2003. Texas (125,000), Florida (88,000) and Arizona (66,000) — the latter two, traditionally, thought of as retirement havens — led the way. North Carolina (36,000) and Nevada (35,000) followed. Nevada, at 13 percent, led the nation in the rate of increase in its elementary school-age population from 2000 to 2003.
In 2003, Utah and Alaska had the highest proportions of their populations in the 5-to-13 age group (15 percent each). California had the highest number of elementary school-age children (4.8 million) in 2003.
Jack O’ Lanterns and Pies
805.3 million pounds
Total pumpkin production in states that were major producers of pumpkins in 2003. Illinois, with a production of 326 million pounds, led all states. There also were a whole lot of pumpkin patches in California, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York. Each produced more than 70 million pounds of pumpkins. The value of the pumpkins produced by these states was $81 million.
Where to Spend Halloween?
Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood are:
Transylvania County, N.C. (29,406 residents).
Tombstone, Ariz. (population 1,547).
Pumpkin Center, N.C. (population 2,228); and Pumpkin Bend township, Ark. (population 307).
Cape Fear township in New Hanover County, N.C.; and Cape Fear township in Chatham County, N.C. (with populations of 15,711 and 1,170, respectively).
Skull Creek township, Neb. (population 296).
We also have Skull Valley here in AZ!
Candy and Costumes
Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2001. These establishments employed 45,913 people and shipped $12 billion worth of goods that year. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments with 116, followed by Pennsylvania with 107.
Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2001. These establishments employed 26,400 people and shipped $7 billion worth of goods that year. California also led the nation in this category with 75 establishments.
Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2003; it is believed a large portion of this is consumed by kids around Halloween. But candy consumption has actually declined over the last few years: in 1997, each American gobbled or savored more than 27 pounds of the sweet stuff.
Number of formal wear and costume rental establishments across the nation in 2001. Trick-or-treaters rent, buy or invent the costumes they wear on Halloween.