Chapel Hill businesses ready for Halloween crowds
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CHAPEL HILL — Halloween may not be until next week, but the Town of Chapel Hill is already prepping for the holiday that draws thousands to Franklin Street.
Town leaders are making sure local businesses are also ready for the crowds that come through. This week is just another day on Franklin Street, but come next week it will be a different scene with the town's homegrown Halloween celebration.
More than 80,000 people have flooded the streets in years past, and after police notices a rise in binge drinking and violence they are not taking an extra step to make sure businesses are also prepared.
"They send out flyers saying to bolt down this and that. The crowds don't bother us. It never has," said manager of The Shrunken Head Boutique Genny Wrenn.
For 43 years The Shrunken Head Boutique has been the go-to place for Tar Heel trinkets. Wrenn is a fan of the additional sales it brings in and has been an eyewitness to the holiday over the years.
"The crowds have become a lot smaller. In the past it used to be like a national championship," said Wrenn.
However, despite some dips in attendance, others say a police presence is still a must.
"I think they need to add more police out here just for security," said Anthony Patterson of Underground Printing.
As for Wrenn she said her family actually looks forward to the late night revelers.
"Our whole family goes on Franklin Street as well. We party with them and dress up," said Wrenn.
Many businesses say they actually stay open later on Halloween to cater to the crowds and cash in on the additional foot traffic that comes through.