Family-friendly Homegrown Halloween draws thousands; no arrests made
Posted October 31, 2015 9:55 p.m. EDT
Updated November 1, 2015 7:46 a.m. EST
Chapel Hill, N.C. — About 40,000 people packed Franklin Street in Chapel Hill Saturday night, but there were no arrests of ghouls or goblins during one of the state's biggest Halloween parties.
Thousands filled the streets for the Homegrown Halloween festivities, including University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student Kenisha Strickland.
“It’s interesting actually to see all the costumes and stuff like that,” said Strickland.
Clever costumes and keyed-up college students were a given, but this year also saw many families celebrating Halloween on Franklin Street. Town officials wanted this year’s celebration to be more family-friendly and many in attendance liked the change.
“This year is great,” said parent Nishant Kanapilly. “I haven’t seen alcohol here. People have been friendly. It’s been great for us.”
The party-goers were not alone Saturday night. Hundreds of police officers from as far away as Morrisville patrolled the streets, keeping an eye out for trouble.
With tens of thousands of people on Franklin Street, there have been problems in the past, but business owners said it’s good for their bottom line.
“It’s a win-win for the merchants, for the student body,” said Sugarland Bakery owner Doc Ryan. “It’s a night that we all celebrate.”
The streets were cleared by about 11 p.m. Saturday, and roads were cleaned and reopened to traffic shortly before midnight. Emergency crews responded to 10 calls during the event, the majority of which were alcohol-related, officials said. No injuries were reported.