Jenni Farrow/The Daily Reflector
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Safety is the first priority for trick-or-treating and other Halloween events all across Greenville tonight. Motorists should be extra cautious as excited little “ghosts and goblins” take to the streets going home to home collecting candy.
In the downtown area, where the streets have erupted in costumed revelry each Halloween night for many years, the fun is far more adult oriented and safety is given added emphasis. Residents and visitors who participate in the festivities downtown are expected to have good fun and behave reasonably. To that end, there will be plenty of police presence.
The tradition of filling downtown streets and nightclubs in the wee hours of Oct. 31 started with college students decades ago and soon began attracting partiers from other cities and nearby military bases. A majority of those who venture downtown tonight will not be looking for trouble, but simply to have a good time with friends. They can be assured that an abundance of Greenville police officers will be doing all they can to ensure everyone’s safety.
Newcomers to Greenville often are surprised to learn that such a relatively small downtown takes on a street-festival atmosphere each Halloween. Because of the district’s proximity to East Carolina University, there are a higher number of nightclubs in the downtown area. When costume parties at those establishments began spilling into the streets, the alcohol-fueled merriment led to incidents of violence in earlier years.
Police here have since developed strategic enforcement methods that include closing off certain streets to limit access and using checkpoints for verifying identifications and detecting weapons. While the added enforcement cannot ensure that unlawful and possibly violent behavior will not occur, the police tactics should be welcomed and appreciated by all who participate in the festive atmosphere.
For those students and their guests who find the downtown revelry a bit strong for their tastes, ECU is offering some alcohol-free campus events tonight. Halloween night at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium includes a dance, costume contest, black-light putt-putt and haunted laser tag.
Those traversing neighborhoods all across Pitt County to attend parties should be ever mindful of pedestrians who may not be wearing reflective clothing. Please watch out for them and drive with extreme caution.
via The Daily Reflector.