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Halloween is today and given the day of the week on which it falls this year, I'm wondering if my home state of Wisconsin does Trick-or-Treating better than Minnesota.

Having been a fully-naturalized Minnesotan and lived in the Land of 10,000 Lakes now for over a decade, I'm pretty well up on most things Minnesota. And while I'm proud to live here, I've always wondered about the subtle differences that still exist between the two states. For instance, when it comes to Trick or Treating on Halloween. There's a distinct difference between the way they do it back home in Wisconsin and how we do it here in Minnesota.

Now, it's really not all THAT different, mind you. You still head out in costume with your little ones and hit up houses in your neighborhood that have their front porch lights on. But, back in Wisconsin, there's one important difference.

And that's the establishment of 'official' Trick or Treat hours. That's right, instead of having your porch light on from dusk until 9 or 10 (or, really, whenever you want to turn it out), over in America's Dairyland, each city and town has established its own official Trick or Treat hours when you can expect the kiddos to ring your doorbell.

For instance, the local media outlets back in central Wisconsin usually publish a list of the official Trick or Treat hours for local cities and towns. Most, like the Village of Rothschild (where I grew up) appear to run from 4 to 7 p.m. on October 31st (as their Facebook post below notes) but there are a few different options, like Merrill's 5 to 7 pm or Kronenwetter's 4 to 7:30 pm hours.

It doesn't really change much, except that it limits the time you're on the hook to answer the door. And, the real reason, I'd guess, is that makes things safer for the little ghosts and goblins as they travel throughout the neighborhood-- because you know when you're most likely to encounter them.

Does it mean you won't encounter a Trick-or-Treater before or after the 'official' hours? No, but it does allow you to turn your porch light off-- and not feel guilty (and with less fear that you'll get your windows egged or your trees TP'ed!)

So, what do you think-- would having an 'official' Trick or Treat time here in Minnesota make things safer? Or isn't there much of a difference at all?

Listen to Curt St. John in the Morning
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