Halloween celebrations differ in cities

Published 1:24 am Sunday, October 24, 2010

Picayune and Poplarville will officially celebrate Halloween next weekend on separate days, with the county taking no official stance.

Halloween falls on a Sunday this year and some parents and religious leaders expressed concerns to the Picayune City Council that celebrating the holiday on it’s calendar day would interfere with church services.

Picayune City Manager Harvey Miller said the city council took the concerns under advisement and decided to officially ask trick or treaters to head out in costume on Saturday, Oct. 30. In contrast no one called city hall requesting trick or treating to occur on Sunday, Miller said.

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“We thought the Godly thing to do was not have it conflict with church,” Miller said.

In response, the Picayune Police Department will have extra patrol out on Saturday to provide security and ensure a safe evening, said Deputy Chief David Ervin. That means Sunday, the department will be unable to provide the extra patrol, he said.

Poplarville will officially support the holiday on Friday, since that will be the same night the Poplarville Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual Merchants Trick or Treat, which will take place from 3:30 to 5:30 Friday evening. On Thursday the Poplarville Upper Elementary will host a fall festival from 5-7 p.m. while the Lower Elementary will host their fall festival Friday beginning at 8:15 a.m.

With so many events occurring so close to each other in Poplarville, the Board of Alderman decided to have residential door to door trick or treating on Friday after the Merchants Trick or Treat, said City Manager Jodi Stuart. Curfew that night will be 9 p.m.

The county however does not take a stance either way, said County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin. While the county has not officially taken a stance, Pearl River County Sheriff’s deputies will be out on patrol during the weekend to ensure that trick or treaters are safe, said Capt. Kelvin Stanford.

Safety checkpoints will be set up in the county to look for traffic violations, DUI and other safety problems, Stanford said.

Stanford shared a few safety tips for parents and kids for the upcoming holiday. He suggested kids wear reflective clothing with their costumes, or use a glow stick or flashlight to make themselves more visible. When parking a vehicle in preparation for trick or treating, Stanford suggests parking away from thoroughfares or other streets where traffic is heavy. Children should be watched closely as they cross the street to avoid cars and other hazards, Stanford said. Before children eat their candy loot, parents should inspect it.

Deputies will be on the look out for people who may be out for malicious mischief, Stanford said.