Halloween weeks away, Tampa Bay residents already prep for spooky fun

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s only the beginning of October but people are already decorating their houses for Halloween and buying costumes. The National Retail Federation says 171 million Americans will celebrate the holiday this year and spend more than ever. Total spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion.

Richard Rivera has been trick-or-treating for a long time.

”I’ve been celebrating my whole life,” Rivera said. “I look forward to it every year. In school growing up, have a big Halloween party. One year went as a Ninja, one year as a pirate, it was always a great time.”

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This year won’t be any different.

“Halloween is not a kid’s holiday, that is just a plain myth,” he said. “It’s for people of all ages.”

Rivera has a few more weeks to decide what he’ll dress up as but he plans to save the day somehow.

“This year I haven’t decided quite yet. Probably find something topical  to go as, maybe find a superhero to go as,”he said.

The National Retail Federation predicts Americans will spend $82.93 on the holiday. That’s close to $9 more than what people spent last year.

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Rivera said $82 would be getting out cheap.

”About every year we spend about two to three hundred dollars on our yard decorations,” he explained. “We live at the end of a cul-de-sac so we have kind of a scary approach we think so we try to make it good for the neighborhood kids.”

He said you’d be surprised at what a couple hundred can get you.

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“Some tombstones decorations, we always like to see the new stuff they have at the store, if they have things that look like they’re coming out of the ground, it’s always a good hit,” he said.

Rivera says if you spend that much on decorations, the trick to the treat is pinching pennies on other things.

“Candy, we usually go to Costco and get the big bags, we save a little money there. Probably about $20 on candy.”

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The National Retail Federation’s survey finds that seven in ten consumers plan to hand out candy and nearly half will decorate their home or dress in costume.


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