GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Halloween isn’t going to look the same this year in Greenville because of the pandemic.
In previous years, Greenville holds Halloween events, both on East Carolina University’s campus and in the Uptown areas.
“There’s always been a festival of sorts and an event area,” said Greenville Police Department’s Public Information Officer Kristen Hunter. “This year due to the social gathering limits that will not be the case. So, our downtown roads will be open, but there will not be a downtown event this year,” said Hunter.
Under Governor Roy Cooper’s Phase 3 pause, bars and restaurants will remain open until 11 pm. Alcohol sales will also be allowed to take place until then as well.
“Bars may operate outside only, but at 30% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less,” said Hunter. Once the fun ends at 11 pm, local law enforcement expects people to comply.
Greenville is a college city, meaning many students and friends may hold house parties instead of going out.
Currently, under the Phase 3 Pause, mass gatherings must stay at 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors.
“We really want to receive voluntary compliance, particularly from our students in the off-campus living,” said ECU Police Dept. Lt. Chris Sutton.
“There are code violations that they could be charged for if they have a noise that exceeds what is an acceptable level. They could be changed for other criminal charges via state citation, to include violation of the Governor’s executive order which is a misdemeanor,” said Sutton.
Both Hunter and Sutton recognize this year hasn’t been normal for everyone, but especially college students.
In previous years, ECU would hold an alcohol-free Halloween event for students, which would sometimes draw over two thousand students. This year, it’s been canceled.
While they want people to have fun, it’s all about working together to stop the spread of the virus.
“We do hope that through these efforts that we’re doing that we will be able to control the spread of the virus. This won’t necessarily be forever, but it will be for right now,” said Sutton.