Hawley Council President Ann Monaghan, at their July 12th meeting, made some proposals about changing how the borough sanctions Halloween activities. Concern for children’s safety was heightened that week, with the news of a drug bust a few miles from Hawley, where candy laced with drugs, was confiscated by PA State Police.
HAWLEY - Hawley Council President Ann Monaghan, at their July 12th meeting, made some proposals about changing how the borough sanctions Halloween activities. Concern for children’s safety was heightened that week, with the news of a drug bust a few miles from Hawley, where candy laced with drugs, was confiscated by PA State Police.
Normally there is a parade on Main Avenue, leading to Bingham Park, where the borough hosts costume judging and free refreshments. Families of course continue to do “trick or treating” on their own as they have for generations.
Out of concern for the safety of children who typically go door to door trick-or-treating, Monaghan suggested that the borough provide a “trunk or treat” event at the park, as an option for families.
They would still have a parade. Although Monaghan suggested taking the parade to Bingham Park instead of having it on the street, Councilwoman Michelle Rojas preferred to keep the traditional street parade.
The trunk and treat idea, however, met with general favor as long as it is only an option for families.
“I would really, really like us to consider doing a trunk or treat,” Monaghan said. “With the drug bust in Paupack Township yesterday, with packages of candy infused with drugs, chocolate bars infused with drugs - I’m sorry, I don’t think its practical and wise to let your kid go up to anybody’s door and get candy.”
She explained the idea is that the family will have to register with the borough, to have a trunk or treat. “This way, if there is an issue, we can go back and trace that to whoever was involved,” she said.
The topic aroused a variety of responses from borough officials.
Deputy Fire Chief Gene Krause stated that the Fire Department will support the trunk or treat proposal.
“How are you going to stop anybody from trick or treating?,” Police Chief Daniel Drake asked.
“You’re offering them a safer option,” Lou Cozza, Hawley resident and the borough’s engineering representative, said.
“And that’s what it is, but I can’t stop someone from trick or treating,” Drake replied.
“If people still want to go trick or treating, obviously we can’t stop them,” Monaghan interjected. “But I don’t want us to endorse it. If people want to go out on their own and trick or treat, and people have their lights on, that’s fine, but I would like the borough to endorse the trunk or treat… as a safer alternative with registered providers of who is handing out candy, so if there is an issue - we’re not going to the needle in the haystack as to where this kid got candy from.”
“It’s still a haystack, a smaller haystack,” Councilman Mike Dougherty added. He said he didn’t see the drugs in candy as an issue at trick or treating, but he understood what she was saying.
Monaghan, who is the registrar at Wallenpaupack Area School District, said that the 18-year old man who was arrested in connection with the drug bust was a student at the local high school up until a year ago. The accused, she said, was handing stuff out in school to kids in general, on the school bus.
Elaine Herzog, Councilwoman agreed with the Police Chief that there was no way that trick or treating could be stopped, but she agreed that it was a good idea to offer an alternative.
It was Monaghan’s observation that less residents in Hawley in recent years, have been leaving a light on to welcome trick or treaters.
Chief Drake commented that there are others in town who welcome the kids and enjoy seeing the costumes. The chief agreed an alternative was good.
“A lot of people love it,” Mayor Kevin Hawk said. He said a couple hundred trick or treaters come tho his house.
Concerning the parade, Monaghan commented that there was more people watching the parade than in it anymore. Not as many costumed people get behind the fire trucks to follow them to the park. Monaghan suggested having the parade make a circle in the park, complete with the Wallenpaupack Band, as well as have the residents with their vehicles in the parking lot, for trunk and treat.
Councilwoman Michelle Rojas disagreed about not having the parade on the street. She said it wasn’t advertised well and it shouldn’t judged by just one year’s experience.
Monaghan offered that the parade could be kept the same this year, but still have the trunk and treat following, in the park. The mayor added that some lighting may be able to be donated.
Andrea Racht had suggested that perhaps there could be judging and prizes for people who decorate their cars for the trunk or treat.
Changes to how the borough handles Halloween were discussed by council last fall, but it was seen as too late to make them at that stage.