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Reducing The Halloween Crowd On Franklin Street

By Kristin Ruffin Posted October 31, 2013 at 6:23 am

CHAPEL HILL – Franklin Street is well-known in the Triangle as a Halloween hotspot; but police try to downsize the party more and more each year.

The most worn costume on Franklin Street Thursday night may be a police uniform. But these officers won’t be playing pretend.

“We are bringing in several hundred officers from departments all over the Triangle area,” Chapel Hill Public Information Officer, Sgt. Bryan Walker says.

Walker says the town of Chapel Hill is doing everything it can to limit the guest list for the annual celebration.

“We’ve tried to reduce the size of the crowd, and we’ve been fairly successful at doing that over the last few years, making it more of a local celebration,” Walker says, “As much fun as it is to come to Franklin and see the festivities, if you’re coming from out of town you’re going to have a hard time getting here.”

Shuttles to Franklin from outlying areas will be limited for crowd control. Lane and street closures downtown will make parking essentially unavailable.

Walker says they each Halloween is planned around lessons learned in years past. He says alcohol is the main cause of issues every year. He asks that pre-Franklin partying be kept under control

“We would encourage everyone that is going to be drinking before coming to Franklin Street to drink responsibly,” Walker says.

Walker also says it’s important to keep track of your friends whereabouts, and stay together.

“Don’t get separated and trust that your companions will make it home on their own,” Walker says.

Thursday night is a no-pets-allowed event.

“We have had a problem in years past with someone bringing a snake to an event like this,” Walker says, “When you’re in that crowd, shoulder to shoulder, and you’ve got a snake hanging around your neck, it tends to make people nervous.”

A few other things Walker says you should leave out of your bag of tricks and treats are weapons, fireworks, flammable substances, or anything that may be considered a threat to safety.

Aside from the rules in place to protect people, Walker says the Chapel Hill Police Department wants you to have a good time.

“We’re looking forward to this being another successful and safe Halloween in Chapel Hill,” Walker says.

Franklin Street will close to traffic, and open its door for the annual costume party at 9:00 p.m. Roads reopen two and a half hours later at 11:30.

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