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Chapel Hill cancels annual Halloween on Franklin Street

Halloween on Franklin Street, a beloved holiday tradition in Chapel Hill, has been canceled due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

Posted Updated
Halloween on Franklin Street has been canceled for 2020 due to COVID-19 safety precautions.
Heather Leah
, WRAL multiplatform producer
Halloween on Franklin Street has been canceled for 2020 due to COVID-19 safety precautions.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The Town of Chapel Hill has canceled the traditional Halloween celebration that takes place on Franklin Street each year.

Halloween on Franklin Street is just one of many Town-sponsored events that have been canceled. All events sponsored by the town that would have exceeded crowd limitations have been canceled through December.

Canceled events include the Festi-Fall Arts Festival, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade, and Chapel Hillidays, including the Santa Rooftop Rescue.

This news comes just after the beginning of Phase 3, which reopened bars, amusement parks and movie theaters – with restrictions – after seven months.

"We know Halloween on Franklin Street is a beloved annual gathering for so many in our community, but crowds greater than 50 people go against the current public health guidance,” said Police Chief Chris Blue.


“As a Chapel Hill native, I, too, am disappointed that this annual tradition cannot happen," said Blue.

Even with the cancelation of so many traditional holiday events, town representatives do encourage residents to take advantage of the additional sidewalk space along Franklin Street to enjoy downtown businesses in ways that promote physical distancing and prevent the spread of the virus.

“In the best interests of public health and safety we have decided to not offer the festivals and events that have become synonymous with Chapel Hill,” said Town Manager Maurice Jones. “We all look forward to the day when we can celebrate together again in large groups and enjoy all that our community has to offer.”

The Orange County Health Department has released public health guidelines for Halloween.


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