Football trumps Halloween in some places

NEW ORLEANS, LA (RNN) - When Halloween falls on a Sunday, many communities move trick-or-treating to a more family-friendly Saturday evening. But in the some places  – where Football is practically a religion – it's the big game that takes precedence.

In Oxford, MS, Halloween will be scheduled around Saturday's Ole Miss-Auburn matchup. Further north, Halloween has been moved to Saturday to accommodate the New England Patriots' game against the Minnesota Vikings.

And in New Orleans, one group of moms – calling themselves the "Treat Dats" – are petitioning the city to move trick-or-treating to Saturday so football fans can enjoy both Halloween and Sunday's Saints game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That way, say the moms, kids won't have to choose between dressing up as Drew Brees and watching him play. They've taken their cause to Facebook in an effort to "support both our team and our 'wee dates."

"We're a Saints family," said mom and organizer Stephanie Newell. "My kids were saying, 'We want to watch the Saints.'"

Newell, Vaughn Downing and Jenny Sundell, the women who make up the Treat Dats (a play on the slogan, "Who Dat?"), wrote a letter to the mayor and the city council pleading their case.

"We take pride in doing things a little differently in New Orleans, and changing Halloween weekend would eliminate an agonizing choice for our citizens," the letter stated.

The women have made local radio and TV appearances and have also created an event on Facebook, inviting more than 1,000 people to "wear black and orange on Saturday and black and gold on Sunday."

They encourage families who want to participate to post a sign that reads "Treat Dat Here" on the doors and in the windows of their homes to welcome Saturday trick-or-treaters.

"For us, we are three moms who have kids who are old enough to trick-or-treat and old enough to watch the Saints," Downing said. "It wasn't a matter of us leaving our kids to watch the Saints, but to do both and to make it a family weekend."

The moms also considered the logistics of trick-or-treating with 70,000 people in the Superdome and thousands more throwing private parties a possible hindrance to kids' candy-collecting quests.

"You're looking at a lot of people in the dome and a lot of people who religiously watch from home. Everybody has their routine, they don't want it disrupted, and there was a concern of 'How many lights will be off on Sunday night?'" Downing said.

"My kids say, 'We get candy early and get to watch the Saint's game? Awesome!'"  Newell said.  "The Saints have brought us so much as a community. It's a family tradition for many families."

The Treat Dats emphasize they aren't trying to dictate when people trick or treat, but to give families options that cater to their personal tastes and schedules.

"What is happening is that neighborhoods are making that decision. Some will trick or treat on Saturday, others have decided on Sunday, but either way, people will be able to figure out where to go and plan a night that works for them."

She added, "This is New Orleans. There's no reason we can't have parties two nights in a row."

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