South Lee Street: The Place To Be On Halloween


When October 31 falls on a Friday, Halloween becomes an even bigger deal for those under the age of 16, and this year every kid in town seemed to congregate on South Lee Street.

Several blocks of South Lee Street in Old Town were blocked off from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Halloween so that approximately 1,300 – 1,500 children (and an equal number of grown-ups) could safely navigate the sidewalks and street.  So many children were moving down the sidewalk that many residents simply sat in front of their houses or stood in the doorway and handed out candy.  Apparently, the idea of trick-or-treating on South Lee Street came from a newspaper article years ago that recommended the street because the old townhouses are close together and many residents decorate them for Halloween.

Prior to Friday night, residents of South Lee Street busily decorated their houses and stockpiled vast amounts of sugary sweets for the younger generation.  Then, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Halloween, the smallest costumed children ventured down the street. Lions, pumpkins, princesses and bumble bees seemed to be common attire, and nearly all of the little kids were content to look at decorations rather than acquire as much candy as possible.  However, as soon as dusk crept in, a cast of hundreds of storybook, TV, movie and cartoon characters took to the streets.  Scores of people strolled down the middle of Lee Street with their dogs or significant others just to witness the fun.

The longest lines of any home could be found at the corner of South Lee and Wilkes Streets where the resident family staged their annual haunted house. At 5:20 p.m., the three girls who live there were racing to put the finishing touches on the frightening but friendly haunted house.  By the time it was dark, the spooky residence was ready for guests.

Gladys Anderson, who was visiting from North Carolina and helping her daughter give out more than 1,300 pieces of candy on the 400 block of South Lee Street, said that she had never seen anything like the crowd of children trick-or-treating.” What was also incredible, according to Gladys, was that several friends of my daughters from other Old Town blocks where there wasnt as much Halloween traffic going door-to-door, brought my daughter their left over candy so she could hand it out. Katie Noe, who also lives on the 400 block of South Lee Street, declared that she bought 600 pieces of candy, and when it was gonethat was it! Katie then walked down the street to look at the childrens costumes as well as her neighbors decorations.

By 9:30 p.m., South Lee Street had reopened and most homes had turned off their lights to signal that they were out of candy. Teenagers who were somewhat dressed up still meandered down the street. In several instances, they could be heard making comments such as Next year, we have to get here earlier or Next Halloween, we definitely have to They were already scheming about how to make next years costumes and Halloween night on South Lee Street even better.