Our Voice: Tri-Cities has a lot to offer this Halloween

It’s Friday and it’s Halloween, which makes an exceptionally fun combination.

This is especially true in the Tri-Cities, where anyone looking for a creepy time tonight shouldn’t have any trouble. While trick-or-treating and handing out candy will be the main activity, older kids and adults can take in haunted attractions, corn mazes and parties throughout the community. A full listing of Halloween events can be found in today’s entertainment section or visit atomictown.com.

It’s great to live in a community that gets into the holiday spirit, even if it involves ghosts and zombies. The Tri-Cities has that wonderful balance of being large enough to offer great entertainment but still maintain a small town, tight-knit feel. Halloween is a good example of that.

Store clerks dress up and lots of people decorate their homes with more than just a pumpkin on the porch. Although some yards end up looking like something out of a horror film, it’s all done in fun.

There was a time the holiday was aimed mostly at children, but now more adults are enjoying the festivities and that’s providing a good economic boost both nationwide and locally.

Halloween is becoming one of the fastest growing consumer holidays in the country, according to the National Retail Federation. It estimates the average person will spend about $77.52 this Halloween season and $7.4 billion will be spent nationwide. That’s about $2.2 billion spent on candy and another $2 billion on decorations. The federation also noted $1.1 billion will be spent on children’s costumes while adults will spend $1.4 billion on their get-ups. That same report also said pet owners will spend $350 million on costumes for their cats and dogs.

Locally, costume and party stores are enjoying the Halloween surge. Deanna Madrigal, operations manager at Let’s Party in Kennewick, said Halloween makes up about 45 percent of the store’s annual retail sales. Most Tri-City retailers say it isn’t unusual for families to spend $75 to $100 on costumes.

So, weather permitting, tonight could be a pretty great night. We need to make it a safe night as well. Drivers should be on the lookout for little princesses and superheroes crossing the street, while parents should make sure their children are dressed so they can be seen in the dark. At the very least, they should carry a flashlight.

Halloween is becoming more popular, and the Tri-Cities is a good place to be to enjoy it. Be safe and have a good time.

On a different note

There is another event going on today that marks an important part of history in the community.

The National Day of Remembrance, sponsored by Cold War Patriots, is 1-3 p.m. at the Richland Community Center. Congress has supported the event as a way to honor nuclear weapons workers and uranium miners who served their country from the Manhattan Project through the present day. It’s a worthwhile celebration.