PUNXSUTAWNEY — Tuesday, Punxsutawney Borough Council’s Public Safety Committee received requests for two separate nights of trick-or-treating, one from East End residents and another from the Punxsutawney Fire Department.
Jaime Sherry, of Highland Avenue, requested council approve a request from East End residents to hold its own separate trick-or-treat from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29.
Sherry said people in that area of town do a lot of extra things that make the event better on Saturday than during the week.
This has been done in other towns, including Big Run, which one year held trick-or-treat three separate nights in three separate areas of town, and it worked well, she said.
Sherry said in the future, East End residents would like to hold trick-or-treat annually the last Saturday of October.
Trick-or-treat could never be held in the other areas of town without the help of the fire department, whereas in the East End, there are many parents who help, yet aren’t able to do so during the week due to out-of-town work commitments, Sherry said.
She noted that if the idea wasn’t safe for youngsters, she wouldn’t be asking permission to hold it on a separate night.
Committee Chairman Mike Porada said Mayor James Wehrle has the final say as to when trick-or-treat is held.
Sherry said two years ago, when the East End held its own trick-or-treat, there was a tremendously successful turnout.
“The thing that was confusing two years ago was the public thought the East End was trick-or-treating for two nights, and that wasn’t true,” she said. “East End residents turned their porch lights on Saturday only, and not Wednesday with the other sections of town.”
Sherry said there are many East End residents planning special events that could be held only Saturday.
“Last year, the fire department held the parade and trick-or-treat on Saturday for us, which was really nice,” Sherry said, although many people said it was too much in one night.
Council President Susan Glessner said actually, council can’t tell anyone when to hold trick-or-treating, and only grants permission for when the parade is held because it’s on a borough street.
Committee member Roger Steele said he’s concerned about traffic on Woodland Avenue and the children’s safety because it’s a state route.
Steele said what Michelle “Boo” Lorenzo and everyone else who does in the East End for Halloween should be commended, and suggested that East End trick-or-treating groups should contact REACT, which could possibly help youngsters at the intersections.
Police Chief Tom Fedigan said his department could help with flares, and two patrol cars — not necessarily extra officers — out patrolling that night will spend extra time in the East End during that event.
Sherry said if approved by council, trick-or-treat in the East End would be open to all children in the borough, but East End children would not participate on the other night.
Also, Wehrle received a letter from the fire department, which requested that the Halloween parade be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, on Union Street again this year, with trick-or-treating to follow until 9 p.m.
Both requests require approval by full council at next Monday’s meeting.