The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday December 7th

Ready for Revelers: Bars, Police Prepare on Franklin

Police and businesses alike prepared for the costumed crowds of partyers to descend upon Franklin Street Halloween night.

While most retail shops closed by 6 p.m., some decorated for the festivities. The mannequins in Julian's window display were topped by jack-o-lanterns. Orange balloons floated next to Pepper's Pizza.

Restaurants and bars seemed to be the only businesses remaining open. Dick Moore and Gerald Geaddy were getting ready at W.B. Yeats Irish Pub and Restaurant on Franklin Street.

"We've been anticipating (Halloween night) now that we've got everything ready," Moore said.

Moore said the bar hires a live band for the occasion.

"It's going to be a party atmosphere," he said. "The crowds are going to carry the ball."

Geaddy said the fire department is also getting ready behind the bar to prevent things from getting out of hand.

"The fire department was hosing down the cardboard Dumpsters in back," Geaddy said.

Moore said his only concern is enforcing the law.

"We're a little worried about the law," Moore said. "We're not going to be able to ID as well with all the costumes people will be wearing."

At the other end of town, bartender John Harrison prepared Hell.

"We'll be really busy," Harrison said. "We usually give away a lot of beer promotional stuff."

Harrison, dressed as a Cub Scout, said everyone in Hell will be wearing a costume.

"People must be wearing a costume to get in," Harrison said. "They're usually pretty cool about it."

As for his own costume, Harrison said it is no big deal.

"It was just something I had around the house," Harrison said. "It must have belonged to a really big Cub Scout."

As bars and restaurants prepared for the party, revelers waited for the crowds.

"We're here from Indiana, and we want to see some people," said Carrie Connaughton, who just moved to Carrboro.

Connaughton, dressed as Paddington Bear, waited for the crowds at He's Not Here with two friends.

"We came here to people watch," said Greg Gallagher, who was dressed as a spelunker.

J.P. Trehy, a high school student from Chapel Hill, said there will be plenty to see.

"Everybody's crazy, doing their own thing," Trehy said. "Last year we saw a streaker get almost all the way down the street."

Tommy Brittle and his son said they are looking for thrills of a different sort.

"We're just hanging out, looking at costumes," Brittle said. "We just saw a great pumpkin costume."

While citizens prepared to party, about 260 police officers took their positions along Franklin Street.

Chapel Hill Police Sgt. Jackie Carden is not sure how many people will jam Franklin Street.

"We don't know how many people will come out because it's a weeknight," Carden said. "On weekends we can have more than 50,000 people."

Sgt. K.L. Cheeks of the Durham police doubts there will be that many people.

"They predicted (50,000) to 60,000 people, but that's on a nice night on a weekend," Cheeks said. "I suspect there will be less than that."

Both officers said the police will be watching for weapons and alcohol.

"We're especially on the lookout for weapons - even costume weapons," Cheeks said.

"We'll take anything that looks like a weapon," Carden said.

"We have trash cans where they can pick things up later."

Carden said the police will wait to close Franklin Street until more people arrive.

"We'll play it by ear," Carden said. "We'll close the street when the crowds are too much for the sidewalks."

Cheeks said above all, the police will be watching for citizens' safety. "We're here not so much for enforcement but for protection."

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.


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