Current Date: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 08:33:44 -0500
Robert Humphries has celebrated Halloween on Franklin Street for as long as he can remember.
“This is my favorite part of Halloween,” said the 64-year-old Chapel Hill native, pausing to be photographed with a string of revelers admiring his portrait costume, a painting in a frame with the face cut out.
Humphries was one of thousands who flocked to Franklin Street Wednesday night for Chapel Hill’s Homegrown Halloween.
Police estimated that the Franklin Street celebration drew a crowd of about 27,000 people this year, which is about the same as those who attended last year.
Humphries has seen the celebration grow from a small gathering of students and locals into the event it is today.
“It started out real small, but then it wound up fast,” Humphries said.
As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, Lt. Kevin Gunter, spokesman for Chapel Hill Police, said there was only one arrest, for resisting and obstructing an officer. There were four arrests last year.
‘Support our own’
But while some students celebrated the holiday on Franklin Street, others took time to remember freshman David Shannon, who was found dead Saturday.
Shannon was a pledge in the Chi Phi fraternity. In honor of his death, all fraternities canceled their Halloween events.
Instead, students were encouraged to go to He’s Not Here, a Franklin Street bar, for a benefit night for the newly established David Palmer Shannon Memorial Fund.
Fleming Fuller, general manager for the bar, was sitting at home on Tuesday when he came up with the idea for the benefit.
“We employ three Chi Phi brothers,” he said. “And we just like to support our own.”
He’s Not charged a $3 cover for the event, and proceeds from the cover charge will go toward the scholarship fund.
The town suggested bars charge a $5 cover for the night, but Fuller said they charged a smaller fee to bring more people to the benefit.
“Our reasoning for doing $3 is to get as many people as possible and to raise as much money for this charity as possible,” he said.
Fuller said the town’s tight Homegrown Halloween restrictions have hurt the bar’s business over the years — in 2011, sales on Halloween were only a quarter of what they were in 2010.
“For what the plan is, it’s successful,” he said. “But for us and bar sales, it just hurts.”
Chapel Hill vintage stores and thrift shops saw an influx of shoppers on Wednesday, as students rushed to put together last-minute costumes.
“The past three days have been overwhelming, but in a good way,” said Ryan Hill, general manager at The Clothing Warehouse on Franklin Street.
Hill said Rosie the Riveter, hippie and lumberjack costumes were popular choices.
Freshman Sydney Foushee was putting together a costume Wednesday afternoon at The Clothing Warehouse.
“I have this shirt and I’m trying to make something out of it,” she said, as she held up a vintage Boy Scout shirt.
Ann Jackson, owner of Time After Time Vintage Thrift, also on Franklin Street, said her store gets the most business on Halloween.
“Everyone waits till the last minute,” she said. “It’s the same every year. But we’ve seen a lot of Honey Boo Boos and Luigi costumes.”
Staff writers Cammie Bellamy and Kathryn Trogdon contributed reporting.
Contact the desk editor at email@example.com.
See an Instagram slideshow from the celebration on Franklin Street: