SIKESTON -- While some area children will be out in full spooking force next Sunday for Halloween, others will be trick-or-treating Saturday so their ghoulish fun doesn't interfere with anyone's church services.
City councils in Charleston, East Prairie and Portageville, for example, have voted for their town trick-or-treating to be held Saturday.
Both East Prairie and Charleston city officials said ministerial alliances requested the change in day.
"The main reason for us wanting it Saturday is many of our churches will be having services during the time of trick-or-treating," explained the Rev. George White, pastor at First Baptist Church in East Prairie and ministerial alliance member. "We didn't want it to conflict with church and the children to have to choose."
Portageville alderman Lynn Doering said the council wasn't approached by anyone -- its members just decided to change the time on their own.
"We kind of decided that might be best because we know a lot of people will be in church," Doering said. "And what's the point of kids trick-or-treating if people aren't going to be there?"
In Miner and Sikeston, hundreds of children will attend the Sikeston Factory Outlet Stores annual trick-or-treating on Sunday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., noted Miner Fire Chief Benny Thurston.
"We're having it on Halloween and we try to invited the trick-or-treaters out to the mall so they can get candy and have a safe place," Thurston explained.
Residents in Benton will also celebrate Halloween on Sunday, but there aren't any time regulations.
"Several people have called to ask what night it's going to be on and the city council didn't vote to have it Saturday. We're still having it on Sunday," said Charlotte Allred, cashier clerk for New Madrid.
And in towns where city councils didn't change the day of trick-or-treating to Saturday, some churches and organizations are conducting their own events.
David Jackson, associate pastor at the First Baptist Church in Sikeston, said the church has been conducting "trunk-or-treat" for years and it's been very successful with over 250 individuals participating.
"It's a safe alternative for the kids," Jackson said. Judy Chessor of Sikeston said she plans to take her two daughters, 3-year-old Kiersten and 3-month-old Lily, to her church's annual trunk-or-treat on Sunday after their regular church services.
"Our preacher doesn't believe in canceling services for Halloween activities so we'll do it immediately after services," Chessor said.
And Kimberly Hunt of Portageville said she's perfectly content with taking her 3-,4- and 7-year-old children around town on Saturday rather than Sunday. "I think that'll be fine, and people will go on to church," said Hunt.
Although Hunt has no preference of trick-or-treating -- whether it's Saturday or Sunday -- she did point out the irony of Halloween falling on the day of the Sabbath.
"It is God's day," Hunt said about the upcoming Sunday holiday. "And it does seem weird to do something like Halloween on that day."