Chapel Hill, N.C. — 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.