“I’m really excited to run to Franklin Street this year,” she said. “I feel like it’s part of the Tar Heel experience, and my older sister has told me a lot about it.”
Students walking from campus to Franklin Street can expect to be stopped at checkpoints on the perimeter of Franklin Street before entering, where public officials and law enforcement officers will be checking everyone's costume for any prohibited items. Prohibited items include:
- Glass bottles
- Fireworks or anything flammable
- Anything that looks like a weapon
- Unlicensed drones
If you’re unsure whether or not an item on your costume could be perceived as a weapon, Chapel Hill Police said it’s advised to go ahead and leave it at home.
The tradition of rushing Franklin Street has its historical roots among UNC alumni too. Chris Blue, chief of the Chapel Hill Police Department, said 10 to 15 years ago, Franklin Street would be closed down until 4 or 5 in the morning, and crowd sizes were around 70,000 to 80,000 people, making the event dangerous for community members and UNC students.
“We encourage people to enjoy the event responsibly, and we hope to reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents,” Blue said. “We continue to see people treated for alcohol-related incidents. Often times, EMS workers are responding to dorms or rental properties where people are too intoxicated and require EMS service.”
The chief said he hopes to reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents to ensure everyone has a safe time at the event.
Over the last 10 years, the Town has made an effort to improve the safety of the event by shortening the duration to two-and-a-half hours. Last year, there were 16,000 people at the event and the number of assaults and robberies had decreased dramatically since 2008. However, alcohol-related incidents are still common every year, whether at the event itself or later in dorm rooms or off-campus residence areas.
For more information about how Halloween will impact services like transit and parking, visit the Town's website.