Smithfield streets closing an hour earlier for trick-or-treat

Published 3:01 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023

Smithfield will close streets an hour earlier than in past years on Oct. 31 for its annual safe trick-or-treat.

Traditionally, the town has closed Main Street at 5 p.m. and closed Grace Street as needed based on foot traffic. This year, both roads will close from 4-8 p.m.

Smithfield’s Town Council voted to make the change following a citizen comment at its Oct. 4 meeting.

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Mary Harris of Grace Street told council members during the portion of the meeting reserved for public comments that she and other residents had last year observed cars dodging trick-or-treaters roughly an hour before police arrived to barricade the road.

“My experience has been that our younger children, the little ones, are out earlier with their parents so that those parents can get home earlier, so we have a lot of really small children out early on Grace Street,” she said.

Per the council’s unanimous vote and the recommendation of Police Chief Alonzo Howell, Main Street will close from its intersection with Underwood Lane to its intersection with South Church Street. Grace Street will close from its intersection with Cary Street, to include the one-way 100 block of Cary, through Grace Street’s intersection with North Mason Street.

Vehicles parked on any of the affected streets will need to move by 4 p.m. in order to leave.

According to the town’s website, Smithfield’s trick-or-treat festivities have been known to draw up to 3,000 people.

Main Street merchants will hand out candy from 5-7 p.m. The annual costume contest will be at 5:45 p.m. on the Main Street Square stage outside The Smithfield Times office.