JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A popular event that’s long been a Halloween treat in Jeffersonville faces an uncertain future this year because of crowd concerns.
The city’s parks board voted recently to replace downtown trick-or-treating with more crowd-controlled activities, such as a costume contest or a Halloween-themed film, because of safety issues. The event typically results in long lines of trick-or-treaters snaking down Spring Street, and board members are worried that the crowd could increase with the opening of the Big Four Bridge.
Mayor Mike Moore acknowledged the concerns but said he is working on a compromise to ensure the event goes on.
“I think we need to remember who the mayor is of the city, and although Parks Authority may believe they have the authority to cancel Downtown Halloween in Jeff, they do not,” he told the News and Tribune (https://bit.ly/1tle9VC ).
Moore said he doesn’t think the crowd will be unmanageable because of the bridge opening, and he said he’s spoken with the owner of a Clarksville auto dealership about funding the event if the Parks Authority won’t.
Dealership owner Chris Coyle grew up in Jeffersonville and said he likes to get involved in several events in the city each year.
Coyle said he’d want to make sure safety concerns were addressed before sponsoring trick-or-treating.
He suggested dividing the candy lines into multiple segments and filling the beds of pickup trucks with sweets.
“You get the traffic in, you get the traffic back over the bridge and everyone’s happy,” Coyle said.
He said complaints about how the event was managed have been raised in the past, and he doesn’t want his name associated with an event that could “blow up” in a negative way.
“If we can make something together where everyone wins on this thing, we’d certainly be interested in (funding it),” he said.
Parks Authority member Lisa Gill said the board isn’t opposed to handing out candy but instead wants to ensure improvements are made. She noted that lines were backed up for blocks last year with only 15 minutes left in the event and that organizers nearly ran out of candy.
“We’re just trying to tweak it a little bit to where it’s manageable,” she said. “We all love the event.”
Information from: News and Tribune, Jeffersonville, Ind., https://www.newsandtribune.com
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