Inclement weather responsible for Halloween changes; Burnside to keep Oct. 31 hours
by Chris Harris Commonwealth Journal
Halloween isn’t moving — it’s a fixed point on October 31 each year — but this year, most of Pulaski County will be trick-or-treating in November.
Trick-or-treating hours for both the county and City of Somerset will be held on Friday, November 1, instead of today as previously scheduled, due to the inclement weather conditions expected to sweep into the area today.
As usual, county hours will be from 6-9 p.m., and city hours from 6-8 p.m. — just a day later than expected.
At a time when the city and county governments haven’t been able to get along on the political front, it appears they found common ground when it comes to trick-or-treating, at least.
“The city and county decided this together,” said Tiffany Bourne, Community Development Director for Pulaski County Government. “The city called up to see if we wanted to change ... so we decided to (move it to Friday in the county).”
For Somerset, the threatening weather stood to play havoc with the city’s Halloween Blast event, scheduled to be held at SomerSplash Waterpark.
Lasting from 6-8 p.m., the event will offer youngsters glowsticks, candy, pizza, inflatables, and yes, even fireworks, free of charge. Some local vendors and city departments will be on hand, as well as Mayor Girdler and some of the city councilors, handing out candy. Fireworks will start at approximately 8 to 8:15 p.m.
“It will be a nice little display,” said Stephen Sims, “maybe about 15 to 20 minutes.”
Somerset officials decided to move Halloween Blast from Thursday to Friday, and city trick-or-treating hours along with it.
“Officially, the City of Somerset activities were changed due to the high probability of rain and the possibility of severe thunderstorms,” said Capt. Shannon Smith of the Somerset Police Department. “Moving it to Friday would increase the safety of kids and the activities that the city has planned.
“With better weather, you have better visibility,” he added. “It increases safety for the kids going door-to-door to trick-or-treat.”
According to the National Weather Service in Jackson, Ky., thunderstorms are expected to roll into the area, with wind gusts around 25 miles per hour. Chance of precipitation is at 100 percent, and the potential for severity is there. It will definitely be a dark and stormy night — and windy and wet as well.
Friday night, however, is forecasted as being mostly clear with mild winds, making it a much more opportune to get out and hunt for some candy.
Another downtown event, the Clear Channel-Somerset Junior Woman’s Club Halloween Safe House is also moving to Friday. It’s being held on the judicial center plaza in downtown Somerset from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“There will be free pizza and drinks to the first people there at 5 p.m., and candy and treats for the kids,” said Melanie King, SJWC president. “Bring a can of food to treat God’s Pantry. You can also donate new or gently-used bras for Bethany House.”
The costume contest is for children of trick-or-treating ages only and will include categories for “Scariest,” “Funniest,” “Movie-Related,” “Cutest,” “Most Original” and “Best All-Around” prizes.
“We’re moving (the date) because we want to serve the kinds downtown that don’t have (parents with) vehicles,” said King. “If it’s going to be rainy, if people don’t have vehicles, their kids won’t get out. We want the kids to have a fun night.”
Most cities in the county have followed suit. Eubank, Ferguson, and Science Hill will all be moving their official trick-or-treating hours to 6-8 p.m. Friday.
Only Burnside is staying put. The town’s saying, “Everything’s better in Burnside,” might be true tonight, when October 31 will be better in Burnside. The “only town on Lake Cumberland” is moving ahead with its event “The Haunting of Burnside” at the Burnside Fire Department Station on East French Street, from 6-8 p.m. Trick-or-treating hours are also remaining tonight from 6-8 p.m., rather than moving to Friday.
“We’ve had people take off work to help us get prepared,” said Burnside Mayor Ron Jones. “There’s been so much planning down, we decided to just go ahead and give the kids a place to go on Halloween if everybody else cancels out.
“You don’t know, the weather may turn out to be beautiful,” he added. “We thought we’d go on ahead with our plans as scheduled.”
Of course, November 1 is a holiday too — All Saints Day. Though it’s not recognized much by Protestants, the day is a special occasion to many Catholics worldwide, and a special mass service is typically held. (In fact, the name “Halloween” comes from the phrase “All Hallow’s Eve,” referring to “All Hallows Day” — or “All Saints” — on the first of November).
When Halloween falls on a Sunday here in rural Kentucky, trick-or-treating is often moved to another day. So what does the local Catholic community think about Halloween festivities being held on a distinctly more religious occasion?
“It’s not really an issue for us,” said Father Jeffrey Estacio of St. Mildred’s Catholic Church in Somerset.
That said, he explaied that “when we celebrate ‘All Saints Day’, we think about the saints, and we think about the saints that are not known to us, not canonized, people that live holy lives according to the Gospel. If it’s on a Sunday, then we transfer it to Monday.”