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Halloween spending to reach record levels  

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— Halloween spending is expected to reach record levels this year— roughly 12.2 billion dollars. 
It’s not even October yet, but locals like Chris Novak are already planning out their Halloween costumes. 
“I'm going to be a construction worker for Halloween. So I came in and got a mustache and then I'm just going to look for a tool belt and that and be ready,” said Chris Novak, who lives in Ventura.
According to the National Retail Federation 73% of people will participate in Halloween- related activities this year. That’s up from 69% in 2022. 
It is predicted that shoppers will be spending an average of $108 each.
“If I had my house when I did, it would be probably about 1500 dollars. That's that would go for like the like equipment like this dry ice dirt. You know, I do a graveyard. We do. God have so many crows, so many scary stuff in the yard, that's all,” said Novak.
Total spending on decorations grew in popularity during the pandemic and is expected to reach 3.9 billion dollars this year. participation in Halloween related activities is surpassing pre- pandemic levels. 
“Last year was kind of like their first time, really going out. But this year they feel a lot more freedom, you know, because the COVID is not as it used to be. So people are getting in. It's like a cold to them now. The youth,” said Rebecca Whitfield, who lives in Oxnard.
And though the range of Halloween purchases runs the gamut from baked goods to candy, the greatest increase in spending is expected to come from costumes. 
“ My young kids are they go all out. They spend a lot in the costume shops because they don't like wearing the same old thing. So they're going to get new items,” said Whitfield.
For those who want to shop locally, Halloween stores like World of Magic on State Street is welcoming customers to stop by and get some costume inspiration. 
The store’s manager Erin Foley says she sees a trend with shoppers looking for Spiderman, Scream, and Barbie themed outfits. 

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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