How old is too old to trick or treat? The debate has rankled some communities across the country, but several Maryland towns have had a trick or treat age limit on the books for decades.
In Talbot County, several towns — including St. Michaels — have a municipal code that restricts the Halloween tradition to children ages 12 and under.
The rules have been in place for more than 30 years, said St. Michaels communication manager Kimberly Weller.
St. Michaels also restricts anyone over the age of 12 from wearing face masks or disguises that conceal a person’s face, unless the chief of police gives signed permission. Chief Anthony Smith could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
In Easton, administrative specialist Kendra Blake said their law also restricts trick-or-treating to children between the ages of six and 12.
And in Dorchester County, the town of Cambridge has a had a rule on the books since 2001 that trick-or-treating is reserved for children between ages six and 12.
Age restrictions for participating in Halloween festivities have recently generated debate online and on social media. Some argue that teenagers are too old to participate in what they consider to be a children’s holiday. Others say they’d rather see teens participating in the time-honored tradition than getting into trouble Halloween night.
Still, enforcement of age limits did not appear to be a priority in Maryland towns that had the rules on the books.
“Nobody’s checking ages,” Weller said. “If we had a teenager come up and was respectful, I’m sure everyone would be thrilled to see them.”