Halting a Halloween tradition, at least for this year, Blackstone Police will NOT block-off a section of Brunswick Avenue for safer trick-or-treating, due to COVID-19 and CDC recommendations to avoid large gatherings of people but also because of split opinion in the neighborhood.
Town Council reached that decision unanimously this past Monday night (Oct. 19th).
The Town recently polled households in the five affected blocks -- between 2nd and 7th Streets -- and the results were 10 in favor of the street being blocked, and 10 opposed, according to Town Manager Philip Vannoorbeeck.
Trick-or-treating, however, is still allowed, and officials agreed that the decision is best left to parents and their children. Police will be on extra patrols that night.
The practice of blocking-off a section of Brunswick Avenue began 13 years ago when South Main Street was being rebuilt and a detour sent motorists down Lunenburg Avenue. Town Council at the time wanted to ensure a safe residential area for trick-or-treaters, so Brunswick Avenue -- perhaps the widest residential street in town -- was chosen.
The street closure drew large crowds to Brunswick Avenue -- so many that residents in other areas of town, who looked forward to handing-out candy, saw few or no trick-or-treaters.
And some residents on Brunswick Avenue were being overrun with little ghosts and goblins and spending hundreds of dollars on candy.
Council will revisit the issue next year.