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An unidentified zombie is pictured June 26, 2010, during the first zombie walk in Willmar. Zombies have become the rage of late with recent books, television shows and video games featuring the walking dead. Zombie costumes jumped from No. 22 last year to No. 9 this year on the children's top costume list and from No. 7 to No. 4 on the adult list. Tribune photo by Ron?Adams

Seven in 10 Americans plan to celebrate Halloween; demand for walking dead costumes skyrockets

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Seven in 10 Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, according to a survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation. The survey conducted by BIGresearch found that 68.6 percent of those questioned have plans to celebrate Halloween, up from 63.8 percent last year and the most in the federation's nine-year survey history.


"Thanks to creative costumes and décor for consumers of all ages, Halloween has become one of the most anticipated holidays of the year for many people," said Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director for BIGresearch.

Even those who don't celebrate themselves participate in the trick-or-treating tradition, with 74 percent of survey respondents saying they would hand out candy. The survey found 33 percent would be taking children trick-or-treating.

The National Retail Federation survey also found that half of the respondents planned to decorate their home or their yard, and 48 percent would carve a pumpkin.

Nearly 44 percent planned to dress in costume, 34 percent planned to throw a party or attend one and 23 percent expect to visit a haunted house.

People in west central Minnesota would seem to reflect what the survey shows. Several Halloween-themed events are planned in the area -- from pumpkin carving at Willmar's First Baptist Church to haunted houses in Clarkfield and Spicer, and all kinds of trick-or-treating opportunities in between.

(See the accompanying list of Halloween events in the region.)

Costumes are a big part of the overall celebration, of course, and spending reflects it.

This year, Americans will spend $1 billion on children's costumes, up from $840 million last year, and $1.21 billion on adult costumes, up from $990 million last year. Additionally, pet owners will shell out $310 million on pint size devils, pumpkins and witch costumes.

What will the kids, young and old, be wearing this year? Fake blood and lots of makeup apparently, as zombie costumes are all the rage this year according to a costumes survey conducted for the National Retail Federation.

Due to the popularity of the characters in recent books, television shows and video games, zombie costumes jumped from No. 22 last year to No. 9 this year on the children's top costume list and from No. 7 to No. 4 on the adult list.

Traditional costumes still are the most popular, however.

Witch, pirate and vampire top the adult list in the 2011 survey. Princess, witch and Spiderman are the top three for kids, and pumpkin, devil and hot dog for pets.