There's the tab for all the police protection -- 315 officers from 15 different agencies -- which officials are still calculating. Last year alone, the town spent $75,000 on police security and had 200 officers present.
With an extra 100 officers on hand, why wouldn't that price tag increase?
Businesses on Franklin Street, especially bars, suffered from anemic crowds compared to years past. Some even were forced to send the extra workers they had scheduled home due to lackluster sales. Halloween is usually an incredible boom for local eateries and bars, but not this year.
With all the roadblocks, fewer older students who live off campus were inclined to go on a scavenger hunt for parking spaces throughout the town -- leaving the underage residence hall-dwellers to stay on the streets instead of filling up barstools.
I'm sure the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce and the Chapel Hill Town Council will hear about the repercussions of the security crackdown as owners tally up sales from last week.
Traffic was chaotic. Funny how a 1 1/2-mile roadblock around the center of town has the effect of screwing up most major roadways in a 10-mile radius. From Airport Road through N.C. 54 and U.S. 15-501, red brake lights gave a nice, bloody glow to the night.
Coming from Raleigh, I waded through an hour's worth of traffic on N.C. 54 to make a trip that ordinarily takes 15 minutes.
But beyond the numbers, the spirit of the celebration was ruined.
At a time when people are paranoid about planes falling out of the sky and anthrax letters coming out of our mailbox, Halloween on Franklin Street should provide a great escape from the pressures of life, both real and imagined. Instead, with decontamination tents, confiscation of any costume accessory not glued to your body, and an avalanche of uniforms, Chapel Hill was another affirmation of national fear.
There's obviously a need for security for mass gatherings such as this -- and the town has done a good job of handling it in the past with much larger numbers of revelers and fewer police officers. Perfect, no. But it was much less oppressive and certainly cheaper. The party must go on, after all.
Town leaders should learn from this year's Halloween and make amends next year.
Adequate security can be balanced with an open, diverse crowd from around the state.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.
If the crowds continue to dwindle in the face of tight restrictions, one of the traditions that typifies Chapel Hill's spirit will die.
And that's what scares me.
Columnist Jonathan Chaney can be reached at email@example.com.