Monday, Dec 9, 2013
Rainy Start to Carbondale Halloween Celebrations
November 1, 2013 4:00 a.m.
CARBONDALE-- Clear skies Thursday night enticed partiers to spend their Halloween on the strip, their first chance in 13 years.
Countless people headed out to downtown Carbondale after the rain stopped. They started to trickle in around 10 p.m. and continued to pack local businesses all night long.
"It's an exciting time. to get away from all the stress of school and classes," SIU junior Sean McKinney said.
Many were ready to enjoy their first time on Carbondale's strip.
"Glad its back up and running. hope they keep things under control," Jasmine Rice explained.
Officers from the Carbondale police department worked to keep it that way. They watched the crowds and kept party goers from blocking the sidewalks. The heavy police presence was apparent all down Illinois Avenue.
The night was mostly uneventful, except for an arrest at the train station. Authorities found a man dressed as Beetlejuice on the tracks.
Kaylin Taylor and Arshinece Palmer saw multiple officers drive to the train station.
"They chased him from all the way down there to like right here.
That's why the squad car was right here on the railway," they said.
The rest of the night was calm and dry. That was good news for Robert Delre, the owner of Stix. He prepared with extra security and looked for more cooperation from the weather .
"Hopefully the temperature doesn't drop too much. People won't want
to come out in their Halloween costumes if its really cold outside," said Delre.
If it does, that'll mean big business for him all weekend long.
"We're hoping the worst does not happen. I have windows. I like my windows," he added.
CARBONDALE -- Rainy weather Thursday dampened the early hours of the first Halloween celebration on the Carbondale strip in 13 years.
Since 2001, the city has forced bars along South Illinois Ave. to close around the holiday to prevent the rioting and vandalism of past Halloweens.
Some Halloween revelers in costume were seen on the strip Thursday night, but many were bundled up against the wet weather and others were holed up inside to stay dry.
Katy Burns was enjoying a meal at Pagliai's pizza, hoping that the rain could keep things under control for Halloween.
"I really hope since it's raining there won't be any riots, because I don't want people to ruin it for everyone," said Burns.
Other SIU students who braved the downpours said crazy weather is just part of life in Southern Illinois, and it won't stop a Halloween party
"I don't think anyone's gonna let the rain get in their way. I mean it's Carbondale. Nothing stops you from going out and having a good time," said Mark Rootlet.
"Everybody, even though it's raining, seems to go out," added Gabriel Waldhoff.
In July, the Carbondale City Council voted to let downtown bars open on Halloween and the surrounding weekend for a one year trial.
There are only three bars still operating along the strip, and supporters insist the party culture at SIU that led to riots in the past no longer exists.
Depending on what happens late Thursday and early Friday, Mayor Joel Fritzler says the city council will likely revisit the Halloween issue at its meeting next week.
Wind: 3 MPH
Humidity: 80 %