PELHAM, N.Y. There were 41 million potential trick-or-treaters ages 5 to 14 in the United States last year, according to a 2010 report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
In 2009, there were 1,719 costume and clothing rental establishments across the nation, the U.S. Census Bureau also says.
A 2007 Gallup Panel survey found that Americans spent an average of $52 on Halloween merchandise, "spread about equally among costumes, decorations and candy." The total household expenditure jumped to $82 for households with children under age 18, "with a bit more emphasis on costumes."
But with the scarier-than-a-Halloween-slasher-flick prospect of a double-dip global recession haunting the homes and wallets of millions of Americans this October, it's easy to imagine more families spending less money on dressing up and choosing "do-it-yourself" costumes instead.
Pelham resident Henry Leon's three-year-old son, Valentino, wants to be a pirate this year, and their family will be making the costume at home. Leon said they can make the costume better and cheaper at home than they would in the store.
Pelham resident Fernando Londono and his son, Lars, also chose the homemade option this year. The four-year-old wants to be a musketeer for Halloween, so his mother researched vendors online to buy materials.
"His mother's been making him costumes," Londono said. "She's very dedicated that way. It's a lot of money to spend."
Contact Pelham reporter Andrew Meola at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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