Homegrown Halloween 8-10:30 p.m.

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News Announcements
Frequently Asked Questions
Street Closures
Prohibited Items
Downtown Residents

Chapel Hill manages Homegrown Halloween on Franklin Street to keep it small, safe -- and with a local emphasis.

Costumes and creativity showcase the best of this spontaneous crowd gathering that occurs each year on Franklin Street. Extremely large crowd sizes in years past have required public safety strategies. On this night – Tuesday, October 31 – we restrict traffic into downtown, employ just less than 200 public safety officers, and establish alcohol checkpoints.

The Town of Chapel Hill observes Halloween only on Oct. 31, and does not deviate from the celebration date, no matter what day of the week it falls.

Hear from our community partners as they answer Frequently Asked Questions: https://vimeo.com/album/3620187

  1. What is Homegrown Halloween on Franklin Street?

  2. What’s so scary about Halloween in Chapel Hill?  

  3. What are the Top Three public safety goals for Halloween in Chapel Hill?

  4. How do you get to downtown Chapel Hill on Halloween?

Thank you for supporting our public safety goals.

News Announcements












PHOTO Halloween 2013 Multimedia

The following graphics may be used to illustrate articles about Halloween in Chapel Hill. Each is available as a high-resolution image, which should be editable for use on Web sites, in video, or in newsprint. Click on the photo to view and download the larger image.

Street Closures

Beginning at 8 p.m., some downtown streets will be closed to vehicular traffic:


  • Franklin Street, from Raleigh Street to Church Street
  • Columbia Street, from Rosemary Street to South Road 
    • Northbound traffic on South Columbia Street will be detoured west onto McCauley Street
  • Henderson Street, from East Rosemary Street to East Franklin Street
  • Church Street (southbound), from West Rosemary Street to West Franklin Street
  • Robertson Lane
  • Pickard Lane
  • South Road, from South Columbia Street to Raleigh Street (6:30 p.m. to 12 midnight)
  • Cameron Avenue, from South Columbia Street to Raleigh Street (6:30 p.m. to 12 midnight
  • Stadium Drive (5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.)
  • Skipper Bowles Drive (6 p.m. to 11 p.m.)

Residential streets near downtown will be closed except to residents of those streets and their guests.


Officers and other event staff will be on hand to guide visitor’s to the entry points.


There will be LIMITED PARKING available in Town lots close to downtown; there will be no place for charter buses to drop off or pick up passengers.

Vehicles parked on streets to be closed will be towed beginning at 6 p.m.

Vehicles that are illegally parked will be ticketed and towed, with a minimum recovery cost of $140 plus the cost of the ticket.

Media vehicles will not be allowed to park inside the closed perimeter.

Prohibited Items

Town ordinances and State statutes prohibit the following items in the closed area:

Items, even as part of a costume, which can be used as weapons or could reasonably be mistaken as weapons will be confiscated. This includes items made of wood, metal, cardboard or hard plastic.


Chapel Hill Transit and Safe Ride Buses

Chapel Hill Transit will adjust some routes and schedules to accommodate the Halloween celebration on Franklin Street. The following schedule modifications will be in effect:


  • CW Route—Last bus will leave Credit Union at 7:10 p.m.           
  • CM Route—Last bus will leave Jones Ferry park and ride at 7:50 p.m.
  • D Route will end at 7:31 p.m. Sagebrook Apartments
  • F Route will end at 7:45 p.m. Colony Woods and 7:38 p.m. Pine Grove 
  • G Route will end at 7:47 p.m. Booker Creek and 7:43 p.m. University Place
  • J Route will end at 7:56 p.m. Rock Creek Apartments
  • NS Route—Last bus will leave Eubanks park and ride at 7:40 p.m. and from Southern Village park and ride 7:45 p.m.
  • NU Route will end at 7:44 p.m. RR Lot
  • EZ Rider service will end at 7:30 p.m.

All other routes will operate on regular routes and published schedules, although delays may occur due to increased traffic.
Safe Ride buses will operate from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., as Franklin Street reopens. Safe Ride is a service funded by the UNC-Chapel Hill Student Government for the safety of students. For information on routes and schedules:  http://www.townofchapelhill.org/town-hall/departments-services/transit/safe-ride-program.
Please be advised that due to road closures and traffic pattern changes, Chapel Hill Transit may be unable to operate published schedules for these routes. The delays will also impact Next­Bus predictions.
There will be no bus shuttles operating from park and ride lots to the Halloween celebration.


Questions: Please contact a CHT customer service representative at 919-969-4900 (press 1) or email chtransit@townofchapelhill.org.

Downtown Residents 

The Town of Chapel Hill will make every effort to keep people who are attending the event from parking in your neighborhood. Access to your neighborhood will be limited by barricades and police personnel at the roads leading into your neighborhood. This will begin early in the evening.

  • Residents of the neighborhood will be able to drive in and out of the enclosed area. Tell the officer at the barricade where you live.
  • Your guests will also be able to enter and leave. They will need to tell the officer at the barricade exactly where they are going.
  • Illegally parked vehicles (even of residents, guests) will be ticketed and towed.
  • Traffic will be congested and getting past the barricades may be a slow process. We recommend that you plan accordingly.


Crowd Sizes Event Management Costs
2010 35,000 $191,031
2011 27,000 $183,456
2012 22,000 $175,085
2013 30,000 $188,310
2014 32,000
2015 40,000








Halloween EMS Calls 

People seen for
alcohol-related issues
Transported to UNC
for further treatment
2010 6 5
2011 7 3
2012 4 2
2013 15 7
2014 79* 29*
2015 10 0
2016 3
2017 2




*These numbers include reports for the closed-off portion of Franklin Street AND the surrounding areas during the Homegrown Halloween event. 



Halloween Media Parking and Event Update Schedule

Media parking for this year’s Halloween event will once again be provided at the Morehead Planetarium. Media vehicles utilizing this staging area should plan to be in place no later than 8 p.m. Vehicles will not be permitted to enter these staging areas after the streets are closed.

Town of Chapel Hill Community Safety Communications Specialist Ran Northam will give Halloween event updates. 


Information: Community Safety Communications Specialist Ran Northam at 919-969-4878 or rnortham@townofchapelhill.org, Police Officer Phil Smith at 919-968-2864 or psmith@townofchapelhill.org, or Communications Manager Catherine Lazorko at 919-969-5055 or clazorko@townofchapelhill.org.

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