Local News

Restrictions help keep Chapel Hill's Halloween bash in check

Posted October 31, 2013

— For the sixth consecutive year, law enforcement officials in Chapel Hill will try on Thursday night to keep the town's annual Halloween celebration from becoming too ghoulish.

After a crowd of about 82,000 people packed Franklin Street on Halloween night in 2007, officials started the "Homegrown Halloween" celebration to try to curb attendance.

Attendance has declined steadily in the last four years, with only 22,000 attending in 2012. Large crowds in previous years caused public safety concerns downtown, on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus and in nearby neighborhoods. 

The decrease in crowd sizes since 2007 has also resulted in fewer alcohol-related issues. Thirty-one people were seen for alcohol-related problems in 2007 and 2008. In the last three years combined, officials have dealt with 17 people. 

The cost of managing the event has also dropped, from $230,000 in 2006 to $175,085 in 2012. 

Law enforcement officials on Thursday restricted traffic access to downtown Chapel Hill until about 11:30 p.m., when crowds began to disperse. 


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  • SnakeLady Oct 31, 2013

    The party is MUCH better in Downtown Greenville, anyway! :) At least, it was back when I was there during the late 80s/early 90s... except for the years they cancelled Halloween.

  • jbc268 Oct 31, 2013

    Are some of you really implying that Chapel Hill is intolerant because they don't want to spend thousands of dollars to clean up after people that don't live in the city and pay taxes to it? And because they want to make sure their citizens stay safe? That's absurd logic.

    Also, anyone who wants to come to the festivities can, it's not like they check IDs at the gates to make sure you're from Chapel Hill. They just aren't making it easy by providing bus services and such, which they have the right to do since they pay for the buses.

    The most annoying part about all of the complaining is that you people saying that they're entitled to go to Chapel Hill's party if you want to are the same ones that would say that the college students in Chapel Hill feel entitled because they're liberal. Take a look in the mirror at your own entitlement, my friends. You're suggesting that the Chapel Hill government, which you don't pay into, should have to spend money on you. Ridiculous.

  • raleighboy524 Oct 31, 2013

    "Cary- the beige capital of the world."
    You have a good point.

  • dwntwnboy2 Oct 31, 2013

    "Chapel Hill is the least tolerant town anywhere in the area."- you must not have ever lived in Cary- the beige capital of the world.

  • IPayYouPay Oct 31, 2013

    ...and keep it over there as well. I don't go to Chapel Hill and hope they don't come to Raleigh. I agree, raleighboy524, Chapel Hill supposedly has an "open mind" but they have been known at times to be the least tolerant town anywhere in the area.

  • Ijaz Fahted Oct 31, 2013

    ""I don't think Freedom of Assembly covers a Halloween party in the streets"- why wouldn't it? Does Freedom of Assembly only cover political events? If it does, then the whole term needs to be changed to "Freedom of Political Assembly"."

    I have to disagree. Our founding fathers didn't intend to have a mass of 80k people descend upon a town for a costume party leaving a path of trash and destruction in their wake.

    While it does not specify that it must be political it does say to peaceably assemble. If the police have to be there to prevent alcohol related issues, gang violence (it has happened), and general health and crowd control then it isn't 100% peaceable. All for a party. It's their town, and if they want to restrict access due to cost/safety/etc. then CHH is perfectly within their right.

  • raleighboy524 Oct 31, 2013

    Bottom line: Chapel Hill is the least tolerant town anywhere in the area.

  • blahblahblah Oct 31, 2013

    So I can spend my money supporting CH businesses 364 days a year, just not on Halloween. Interesting concept CH.

  • raleighboy524 Oct 31, 2013

    I have no problem with any of it. It's supposed to be a free country and people should be able to do whatever they want whenever they want and wherever they want. Period. Government has no business telling people they can't hang out downtown any more than government has a right to tell you to stay inside your house.

  • Ijaz Fahted Oct 31, 2013

    "This is really about keep Durham resident out, just more from freedom loving Chapel Hill..."

    Yeah because Durham residents are the only ones besides Chapel Hill residents who want to go to Franklin Street for Halloween.