Chapel Hill Ready For Halloween Bash
Posted October 31, 2006 9:10 a.m. EST
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — More than 50,000 people are expected to attend the annual Halloween celebration along Franklin Street Tuesday night, and town officials said they are ready for the massive crowd.
More than 400 police officers will be on patrol for the street party. Some officers will be on horseback or motorcycles, and the town is setting up a dozen portable lights to brighten up dark areas.
The police presence will top last year's force by 40 officers. Officers were added to the detail this year after other downtown events that got out of hand.
Three people were shot at the Apple Chill Festival last spring, prompting Chapel Hill officials to cancel the event. Officials also took a second look at restricting post-game celebrations and Halloween before allowing those traditions to continue.
"When you have that many people in one place, you always risk that something bad will happen," said Maj. Brian Curran of the Chapel Hill Police Department.
Businesses hope the greater police visibility will prevent something scary from happening this Halloween.
"Having the presence there is a little reassuring for us, and I think for all the businesses in Chapel Hill," said Paul Dailey, manager of Top of the Hill Restaurant.
Dailey said Halloween is one of the biggest nights of the year for the restaurant. He plans on having extra bartenders, bouncers and beer on tap.
"We do have a great view of Franklin Street and the parade. We're a very popular spot on that night," he said.
The restaurant is so popular that its front-row seats to watch the action are being auctioned on eBay.
Vehicles are not allowed on Franklin Street during the Halloween event. Cars will be towed beginning at 6 p.m. It will cost people at least $103 to recover their cars.
The town of Chapel Hill will offer shuttle service to and from the party. They will run from 9 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. The cost is $5 round trip and $3 one-way.
There are four park and ride lots located at the Southern Village Park-n-Ride lot, the Friday Center parking lot and University Mall in Chapel Hill and the Jones Ferry Road Park-n-Ride lot in Carrboro.