Pete Sirianni head shot

Pete Sirianni 

Somewhere on my computer, there’s a saved line graph. 

That graph doesn’t show important political data, information on COVID-19 testing or sports statistics. Instead, it shows the release date, since 2011, of Starbucks’ famed Pumpkin Spice Latte — or PSL, if you’re serious about your caffeine habit. The PSL in recent years has become synonymous with the start of fall. That means in 2014, fall actually began on Aug. 26, almost a month earlier than your desk calendar would have you believe. 

A date hasn’t been given for this year’s release, although the people at the calendar companies will tell you autumn begins Sept. 22. 

If you’re somebody who prefers cooler weather, the beauty of the changing foliage and crisp air, then I have good news for you. 

Fall actually began last weekend. 

The weekend started with a semi-surprise Taylor Swift folk album release, aptly titled “Folklore.” The next day, last Saturday, I noticed in Union Township a “coming soon” sign on the former Sears building for a Spirit Halloween shop. These seasonal shops pop up all over America just in time for Halloween, which I just checked, is still three months away. 

On Sunday, with temperatures right around 90 degrees, I made a trip to the grocery store. To my surprise, I found a setup for different Halloween candy with orange boxes covered in spooky designs. 

Call me old fashioned, but I think July 26 is just a tad early to get the Halloween decorations, costumes or candy out. I mean, let Labor Day have its moment in the sun. And if we’re starting fall and Halloween season in July, what’s that do for other holidays? Someone better notify Santa Claus and the elves if they have to fast-track some orders this year. 

I realize 2020 has been, to put it mildly, pretty up and down. Social trends are turned upside down and the days of the week can all blend together in quarantine. Halloween candy shouldn’t be available to buy before corn on the cob. 

If people insist on moving the seasons and Halloween up, just know I’m against it. And that I prefer Almond Joys. 

(Pete Sirianni is the digital editor of the New Castle News. Email him at 

Digital editor

Pete Sirianni is the News' digital editor. Previously, he worked at The Bradford (Pa.) Era. Sirianni is a 2016 IUP graduate, earning a degree in journalism and public relations. Contact him at or on Twitter at @PeterSirianni.

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