15,000 show up for Chapel Hill’s Homegrown Halloween

Two people dressed up for Hometown Halloween in Chapel Hill (AJ Janavel/CBS North Carolina)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — About Two hundred members of law enforcement from across the area were on hand for Chapel Hill’s Homegrown Halloween, which some say was reassuring after the terrorist attack in New York.

Every year, Halloween brings out thousands to Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill.

However, after police said a terrorist attacked New York City early on Tuesday, some at the event said the incident was on their minds.

“I’m always very conscientious about potential safety threats,” said Andy Hoang.

Hoang is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He said Franklin Street on Halloween is just one of the UNC traditions you have to do when you go to school at Chapel Hill.

But after the terrorist attack in New York, he said he’s aware of the safety risks.

“I’m glad to see we have a lot of law enforcement here,” said Hoang.

Streets were closed and law enforcement was out in full force. Two hundred officers from departments across the area were on site.

“We plan for the worst and prepare for the best,” said Capt. Josh Mecimore with Chapel Hill Police.

Mecimore said no changes were made for safety plans after the attack in New York. He said that’s because law enforcement is always planning and prepared for incidents.

“We’ve made some changes over the years because of national and international events, and we think we’re prepared for whatever might happen,” he said.

And Hoang says law enforcement’s hard work makes the night even more enjoyable.

“We’re out here because we have a lot of faith in our safety department, and at the end of the day we’re not going to let the threat of terror attacks get in the way,” he said.

Chapel Hill officials said there were about 15,000 people on Franklin Street for Halloween, and no reported arrests.

Plans for next year’s Halloween celebration will start as early as today.

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