Council moves to kill Halloween

Working from the theory that if we ignore it maybe it will go away, the Chico City Council voted at its March 12 meeting to stop accommodating the thousands of revelers who descend on the city each year when Halloween rolls around.

The holiday has grown into a monster, so to speak. Last year, Chico Police Chief Mike Efford told the council, there were four stabbings, 36 assaults (two sexual), 55 people arrested for public drunkenness, two-dozen car accidents and various acts of vandalism and other disturbances, including 14 noise complaints reported to police.

Some have argued that this mayhem results because there are no scheduled events like concerts in the Downtown Plaza Park for revelers to focus their energies upon. Others believe such events suggest the city is somehow sponsoring Halloween.

By providing extra lighting, portable toilets and more trash receptacles, the city figures, it is only validating the holiday. In the past, Efford has suggested closing the bars early and asking local motels to put out “no vacancy” signs to discourage people from staying in town.

Since that those measures would translate into the loss of income for bars and motels and the city wasn’t willing to make up for those losses, Efford brought other ideas forward.

The council will also consider closing downtown parking lots on Halloween night and adopted an official “Just say no to Halloween” public-relations campaign.

Some smart entrepreneur is probably already printing out "Halloween? Not in my town" bumper stickers.