CHAPEL HILL N.C. (WNCN) — Thousands of people are expected to celebrate Halloween in Chapel Hill.

There is no official town-sponsored event, but many independent Chapel Hill businesses are hosting parties throughout the weekend.

Blues on Franklin Barbeque restaurant owner Andrew Young said he’s anticipating a very busy few days.

“It’s going to be a packed weekend,” Young said. “We cook a lot like I smoked 14 shoulders before last night, about 18 trays of ribs and so we’re getting ready for a lot of hungry people.”

Historically, the holiday has brought tens of thousands of people to the town. But covid and weather dampened the party in recent years.

“It’s slowed down a lot. But it’s still going to be, it’s still kind of a mecca for Chapel Hill,” Young said. “Tar Heel born, Tar Heel bred, going to be a Tar Heel dead. This when all the ghouls and monsters are going to come out. We have a lot of fun on this weekend.”

Chapel Hill Police wants party-goers to keep safety top of mind.

“Make sure that you know what’s in your drink, that you have a designated driver and that that you walk in pairs,” police chief Celisa Lehew said. “We will be visible on Franklin Street. We have officers that are assigned to our central business district. And again, we have some increased staffing over the weekend.”

The following roads will be closed from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on Halloween:

  • Franklin Street: Raleigh Street to Church Street,
  • Columbia Street: Rosemary Street to Cameron Avenue

Roads that feed into these closed areas may also be closed during this time.



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Prohibited items

Officers from the Chapel Hill, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Carrboro police departments along with Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies will be downtown on Halloween night.

Law enforcement officers will be looking for and removing prohibited items from the closed area, such as:

  • Open containers of alcohol.
  • Weapons, or items that look like or could be used as weapons.
  • Drones.

Anyone who brings these items will be asked to remove them from the area.