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Halloween’s popularity on the rise as Utah County plans celebrations

By Genelle Pugmire - | Oct 14, 2022

Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo

Melodi Bass, of Springville, walks with her daughters Ailee, 3, and Aisley, 4, not pictured, as they and other trick or treaters make their way down a hall to begin gathering candy during trick or treat Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, at the Bennion Veterans Home in Payson.


The first Christmas sale commercials have started, Thanksgiving dinners are being planned, but the holiday whose popularity is on the rise is right around the corner – Halloween.

For decades, Halloween was simply doing a trick — like singing or telling a joke — for a treat. Popular costumes of the day were mostly handmade ghosts, witches and old ladies. Treats included homemade candy apples and caramel popcorn balls.

Now you can wander into any department store or Spirit Halloween and you will see just much the holiday has grown. According to numerous online surveys and informational magazines, Halloween is now the “it” holiday.

In 2005, about half of all adults and young adults celebrated Halloween with parties, costumes and more alcohol than candy. That number quickly grew. By 2021,70% of adults reported partying on Halloween according to Conversation, an academic online magazine.

Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo

Halloween decorations are displayed at the Canyon Road Haunt in Pleasant Grove on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.

Locally, Utah County celebrates Halloween with a more modern touch, changing up some trick-or-treating traditions with the increasingly-popular trunk-or-treat where large groups like neighborhoods, churches and civic organizations hand out treats out of the back of their cars.

According to online survey website http://SmartAsset.com, the two best cities for trick-or-treating in the past five years have alternated between Nampa, Idaho, and Orem.

SmartAsset looked at data from the U.S. Census Bureau, FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting database and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the following seven factors:

  • Single-family housing density. This is the number of single-family houses per square mile.
  • Percentage of residents aged 14 or younger.
  • Median home value.
  • Violent crime rate. This is the number of violent crimes per 100,000 residents.
  • Property crime rate. This is the number of violent crimes per 100,000 residents.
  • Precipitation probability. This is the chance it rains 0.5 inches or snows 0.1 inches on Halloween.
  • Average temperature. This is the average maximum temperature on Oct. 31.

SmartAsset took special note that more than 26% of Orem residents, and those in surrounding areas, are under the age of 15. “That means it’s full of trick-or-treating spirit and kids will have plenty of friends to trade their candy with,” reads the report.

According to the National Retail Federation, which estimates what consumers will spend, it anticipates spending will be nearly $10.6 billion this year, or roughly $100 per person.

Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo

Maddox Bunker, 4, of American Fork, picks out a pumpkin beside his grandmother, JoAnn Nuttall, during the Orem Harvest and Preparedness Festival held Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, outside of Orem Community Hospital.

In Utah County, the partying and activities have already started. While individuals, families, schools, businesses and government offices all dress up for Oct. 31, month-long activities continue throughout Utah County.

Provo River Halloween Cruise

The cruise is like a hayride, but on a boat. There are over 100 pumpkins reflecting off the water, while a scary story is told. A wise-cracking pirate attacks the boat, tells a few jokes and hands out candy to the participants. The cruise line has two professional excursion boats that can accommodate up to 40 people each. Over 8,000 people come each year to enjoy this fun, family friendly event.

The round-trip cruise takes 20-25 minutes, with departures every 15-30 minutes. The boarding location is at CLAS Ropes Course, 3606 W. Center, Provo. Tickets cost $9 per person. The Halloween Cruise is open daily from 6:30-9 p.m. through Oct. 31 on weekdays and 6:30-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday.

Provo Towne Centre

A Trunk-or-Treat will be held from 3-5 p.m. on Oct. 29 and Oct. 31 in the main parking lot at the mall. Costumes are encouraged.

University Place

The Orem shopping and activity center is featuring a Pumpkin Arch Display through Oct. 31. Every evening, 750 hand-carved foam pumpkins will light up The Orchard during shopping hours. Six Utah-themed pumpkins will also be hiding throughout the display.

Orem City

Courtesy University Place

This undated photo shows the pumpkin walk and display at University Place.

Orem’s truck-or-treat will be held Oct. 22, starting with a quiet hour from 9:30-10:30 a.m. before the main event from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Orem City is bringing out work trucks and vehicles for people to explore before stopping by the Orem City booth and picking up a treat. This event is loud, so 9:30-10:30 a.m. is reserved for more sensitive children and will be quieter. The event will open to the general public at 10:30 a.m. Hearing protection is encouraged and costumes are welcome.

The Night of Fright will be held Oct. 28 from 6-8 p.m. There will be yard games out and free s’mores while supplies last as residents get the change to take selfies with infamous bad guys. Hot apple cider will be available for purchase.


Cornbelly’s now has two locations in Utah County, Lehi and Spanish Fork. The Cornbelly’s maze at Thanksgiving Point has been one of the top corn mazes in the United States for more than 20 years. There are dozens of activities for people of all ages.

Evermore Park

This new fantasy park in Pleasant Grove has changing themes to match the holidays. For Halloween, the living storybook village has become the World of Lore. Dressing up and choosing a character are encouraged.

Mazes, farms and pumpkin patches

Glen Ray’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is a 6-generation family farm in Spanish Fork that welcomes families for the Halloween season. Top attractions include a pumpkin patch, kiddie corral and 7.5-acre corn maze. The maze is haunted on weekend evenings.

Hee Haw Farms has a corn maze, petting zoo, hay rides, pumpkin patch, and other activities.

Admission to Jaker’s Jack-o-Lanterns at Harward Farms is just $5, so the location is affordable for families. Admission includes a corn maze, petting zoo, hay rides, and fun farm play zone.

Rowley’s Red Barn is known for its apple crop, and when fall comes around this fruit farm opens up for a corn maze, pumpkin patch, giant slides, apple cannons and all the fresh-pressed apple juice a person can drink.

Wilkerson Farm is a seasonal amusement park in Orem. You’ll find a corn maze and hay ride, plus a bunch of rides that will thrill the whole family.

Thanksgiving Point in Lehi has several fun fall events for families through October.


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