Downtown Chapel Hill
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Info for Businesses

Halloween Information for Downtown Community

Halloween is on Thursday, October 31st

Homegrown Halloween, in its sixth year, is the shared effort among the Town, University and downtown businesses to keep Halloween on Franklin Street as a community gathering with enjoyable, safer crowd sizes. Complete details about Town operations for Halloween night can be found at:

Thank you to the Chapel Hill Police Department and the many other town departments who make extraordinary efforts to maintain a safe environment in Chapel Hill for Halloween visitors, merchants, and everyone in our community!  

If you have any questions please contact: 

Officer Phil Smith of the Chapel Hill Police Department at (919) 968-2864  or

Catherine Lazorko, Town of Chapel Hill Public Information Officer, at (919) 968-2760 or  

Meg McGurk, Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, at (919) 967-9440 or

Emergency 911 Contact Information: 

In the event of an emergency, and the police or fire department need to contact a business/property owner, it is important to make sure that the Orange County Emergency Management (911 Emergency) has a current phone number for your business or property. Call (919) 732-5063 (24hr line) or 919-245-6100 (M-F/8AM to 5PM line) to update that information. 

Downtown Street Closing Information:

The street closes to vehicular traffic based on the safety of pedestrians and crowd sizes. The police estimate the time of closing the streets to traffic at approximately 9PM. No cars will be allowed in or out of the closed street area once that happens. The police will begin clearing the street of pedestrians at approximately 11:30PM; opening it back up to cars. 

Closed Street Area:

· Franklin Street, from Raleigh Street to Mallette Street
· Columbia Street, from Rosemary Street to Cameron Avenue 
· Raleigh Street, from East Franklin Street to Cameron Avenue
· Henderson Street, from East Rosemary Street to East Franklin Street

Safety Measures Regarding Alcohol Restrictions: 

No alcoholic beverages will be allowed in the closed area of the streets.  Alcoholic beverages cannot be served at sidewalk dining locations once East Franklin Street is closed. This restriction is authorized by a Town ordinance making it unlawful to possess alcoholic beverages on streets, sidewalks, parking lots, and alleys within an area closed for a special event.  

If your establishment sells alcohol, please restrict all servings to paper or plastic cups if possible, and all bulk sales to cans to keep glass out of the area.

Working together for the last six years, the Police Department and downtown merchants have collaborated on additional safety measures for Halloween night. Downtown restaurants and bars in the enclosed area will restrict new patrons after 1:00 AM and charge a minimum $5 cover charge to patrons not attending a private event in their establishment. And retail stores will restrict alcohol sales or close their doors at 1:00 AM. 

Parking & Transit Information: 

There are no special event parking or bus shuttles operating from park and ride lots in to downtown. Charter buses will not be allowed to drop off passengers downtown.

Parking meter stations on the 100 block of East Franklin Street, West Franklin, Henderson and North Columbia Streets will be bagged for 'No Parking' starting at 3:30PM. Vehicles parked on the 100 block of East Franklin, West Franklin, Henderson and North Columbia Streets will be towed starting at 6:00PM, with a minimum recovery of $103.  

Please discourage employees and customers from parking in the alleys off of Franklin Street.  Once the streets close, vehicles parked in South Alley (Porthole Alley) behind the Carolina Coffee Shop will not have access to Franklin Street.

Chapel Hill Transit will run its usual bus routes although some will be rerouted due to the traffic diversion plan.  For questions about Chapel Hill Transit bus routes: 919-969-4900 (press 1) or 

 For the latest UNC public safety information on Halloween (street closures and parking restrictions) visit

Property Information: 

If your establishment has an awning or any removable signs, consider removing or securing them in order to keep them from being damaged.  Please make sure all exterior property lights are operating - replace bulbs if needed! Keeping all areas of downtown well lit helps with safety for everyone. If possible, ensure that interior and exterior rooftop doors are secure to keep people off the roof.   

Please contact the Town of Chapel Hill to report post-Halloween related issues that require their prompt attention. They will answer calls from residents on Friday, Nov. 1, at the following:

  • Public Works: 919-969-5100 
  • Police: 911 for emergencies or 919-968-2760

Prohibited Items: 
Costume accessories that look like weapons; Weapons; Alcoholic Beverages; Glass Bottles; Paint; Fireworks and Explosives; Flammable Substances; Animals; Coolers.  

Information for Downtown Residents:
The Town of Chapel Hill will make every effort to keep people who are attending the event from parking in your neighborhood. Access to your neighborhood will be limited by barricades and police personnel. This will begin early in the evening. Residents will be able to drive in and out of the enclosed area. Tell the officer at the barricade where you live.

Your guests will also be able to enter and leave. They will need to tell the officer at the barricade exactly where they are going (your address). Illegally parked vehicles (even of residents & guests) will be ticketed and towed.

Traffic will be congested and getting past the barricades may be a slow process.