The thousands of young people expected to descend on downtown Greenville this week reminds the community how the Halloween festivities serve as both blessing and curse. While the city’s status as a destination for the holiday draws valuable commerce to the downtown district and elsewhere, filling the coffers of entertainment entrepreneurs, it comes with a security obligation that challenges to law enforcement annually.
The task of ensuring that the celebration is both safe and free of incidents for both party-goers and officers is made more difficult this year with Oct. 31 falling on a Wednesday, making spillover to the weekend possible. It is incumbent upon all attending to take responsibility for one another and for Greenville police to execute the security plan in the professional manner the city has come to expect.
While it would be difficult to pinpoint the reasons why Greenville became a destination point for Halloween revelry, the tradition stretches back decades. East Carolina University once had a reputation as a party school despite the excellence of its academic programming. Students hosting house parties and gathering in the downtown bar and restaurant district for the holiday lured a larger number of visitors, causing the occasion to be a prominent one each year.
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