PUNXSUTAWNEY — Following a long discussion at Monday’s meeting, Punxsutawney Borough Council voted 5-2 to allow the Punxsutawney Fire Department to hold Halloween from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Michelle "Boo" Lorenzo, council member, said there will still be a separate Halloween celebration that will take place in the East End of Punxsutawney from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 27, with her traditional haunted house and treat bags being given out.
All area children are invited to attend that event as well.
Numerous residents spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting in regard to having the official Halloween night on Saturday, Oct. 27, so children won't have to worry about homework and attending school the next day.
Rose Martino, a borough resident, said families are rushed and often end up missing the parade because there is school the next day, and homework assignments must be completed.
"So many people are so good to the children, and I think it's better to have it on one night instead of two," Martino said.
Christine Clark said by the time her children finish their homework, it's too late to go out, as the porch lights are all shut off.
Punxsy resident Scott Depp said he didn't understand why people would have trouble taking their children trick-or-treating one night out of the year when they manage to take them to numerous sports and other activities all the other nights.
Jaime Sherry, council member and East End resident, said Lorenzo “does so much work for Halloween, and there are so many volunteers and so many kids, that sometimes it doesn't close up until 11 p.m.
Lorenzo said this isn't about her, Jaime, the fire department or anyone else — it's about the kids.
"I handed out over 800 trick-or-treat bags last year, and I've noticed that it seems that we see more parents with the children since it has been held on Saturday than during the week," Lorenzo said, adding that it's about having fun, and one doesn’t see entire families out together very often like that anymore.
Council held a lengthy executive session to discuss the matter before returning and voting 5-2 to hold the parade at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, with Sherry and Lorenzo voting no and Eric Story, Bill Spencer, Toby Santik, Larry Chenoga and Mike Porada voting yes.
Chenoga said the parade will be held at 6 p.m. and will travel down Union Street to Barclay Square, where the costumes will be judged and the participants will receive a treat from the firefighters.
The parade will form at 5:30 p.m. by Napa Auto Parts on Union Street, with trick-or-treating to follow until 9 p.m. with fire police, fire department members and REACT assisting the trick-or-treaters in crossing the street at intersections.