Most Havasu neighborhoods are unwalkable at night due to a lack of sidewalks and pedestrian infrastructure, combined with our community’s purposeful decision to shun street lights to preserve our view of the night sky. Those challenges tend to make Halloween nights more trick than treat, but our community long ago found an alternative to trick-or-treating that’s a lot better than knocking on doors. Fright Night is a Lake Havasu City tradition enjoyed by thousands of kids and adults each year. It’s a fun experience for young and old as the city shuts down McCulloch Boulevard every Halloween to allow trick-or-treaters to take over the downtown district. Private businesses, nonprofit groups and churches get in on the fun as kids get an entertaining and safe destination on a holiday that is known for tragic accidents involving cars and kids.

Fright Night almost didn’t happen last year thanks to government meddling related to coronavirus restrictions. Luckily a determined few managed to pull off a stripped-down version of the event at the last minute as the state’s event restrictions began to be lifted last October..

This year, Fright Night is back in full force, but the city’s support of the event seems tenuous — downtown business owners say the city is no longer contributing to the cost of closing Main Street for the event, leaving business owners with the $1,200 expense.

Luckily the Main Street Association has found multiple private sponsors to help with the expense. (Meanwhile, the city is sponsoring a competing event that night — a swim-in movie and other entertainment at the Aquatic Center.)

Maybe asking business owners to take on the cost of street closures is appropriate — Fright Night is a big economic boost for downtown, bringing lots of business to local bars and restaurants, and the city’s role in attracting new customers for those businesses should only go so far. But it’s important to remember that Fright Night is also about keeping kids safe in a relatively contained area, free from road traffic. The city should encourage its continued success. Taking away funding just as the event was beginning to find its legs again after a crippling pandemic was all trick with no treat.

— Today’s News-Herald


(1) comment

Third Eye

I have lived here 48 years and have fond memories of our traditional Halloween. Going house to house with friends, being away from my parents, and gorging on candy. No sidewalks, no trunk or treat, just good fun. I miss kids coming to my door to get candy. I miss seeing the costumes and hearing how their exploits for the evening are going. I am sure many other people feel the same. Let's get back to our kids running wild and having a blast!

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