As phones rang off the hook in the background, Spring Garden Township officials crowded into a room Wednesday morning.
They had a decision to make - to reschedule trick-or-treat night or not to reschedule trick-or-treat night.
The threat of Hurricane Sandy had compelled officials in Spring Garden Township and other York County municipalities to cancel the annual tradition early in the week, figuring they'd still be focused on cleaning up after the storm by the time Halloween rolled around on Wednesday.
They thought there wouldn't be time to safely corral costumed kids through darkened streets.
But, while the storm devastated other parts of the country, it largely spared York County.
Heavy wind and rain kept many students and workers at home Monday and Tuesday, and it knocked out power to thousands of households around the county. But it could have been much worse.
So, by Wednesday, "We thought we had things pretty much under control," said Linda Keller, administrative assistant at the Spring Garden Township municipal office.
Township officials decided to reschedule trick or treat for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday.
"Once we sanction a trick-or-treat night, we're basically saying the township is safe to travel through," Keller said. "Right now things appear to be pretty good."
Dover Township officials also huddled after the storm to reconsider an earlier decision to cancel trick or treat.
"We were expecting the storm to be worse," said Laurel Oswalt, the township manager.
There, kids are welcome to knock on doors for candy between 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday.
Moving the event to daytime hours is a better-safe-than-sorry approach, Oswalt said. If there are any storm-related dangers out there, kids and parents should be better able to avoid them during the day, she said.
Other municipalities that have re-scheduled trick-or-treat night for Friday include Conewago, East Manchester, Hopewell, North Hopewell townships and Manchester, Mount Wolf, Stewartstown and Yorkana boroughs.
Many more are holding trick or treat tonight as regularly scheduled.
Trick or treat has been canceled in West Manchester Township, Jacobus Borough and York City.
- Erin James may also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.