10/05/11 — Trick-or-treats set, but Boo-It canceled

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Trick-or-treats set, but Boo-It canceled

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on October 5, 2011 1:46 PM

The cool breezes have only just begun to blow through Goldsboro, but with children already debating what they will be for Halloween, municipalities across the county are preparing for the night when those costumed children will hit the streets in droves to trick-or-treat.

Goldsboro, Mount Olive and Wayne County have all designated Oct. 31 as the day they'll encourage children and parents to take part in the masqueraded candy scavenging from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Last year, when Halloween fell on a Sunday, trick-or-treating in Goldsboro and Wayne County was held Oct. 29, while Mount Olive held its trick-or-treating hours Oct. 30.

Having all Wayne County children out trick-or-treating on the same night won't be the only difference from last year's Halloween, however, as Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp.'s Boo it Downtown will not take place this year.

DGDC Director Julie Thompson explained that during the budget preparation season, her department was asked to find funding to create a business recruiter position. Cuts within DGDC's municipal service district budget couldn't free up enough money, but led to a recommendation to cut out small expenses, as well as the annual ice cream social, pet parade and community leaders tour.

"We got pushback from (the City Council)," Ms. Thompson said, adding she was instructed to take the question of what events to cut to downtown business owners. "Their suggestion was to cut Boo-It so that's what ultimately happened."

The city didn't identify any additional funding for the business recruiter position and cut city funding for the business incentive grant program. Because DGDC felt the grant was an important tool and already had gathered a recommendation to cut Boo it, they used the money freed up from the cut to fund a portion of the business incentive grants.

Wayne Turner, owner of The Flying Shamrock on John Street, said he likes the Boo it program, but that in practice it proved to require more regulation.

Turner said one of his concerns that might have been what spooked others from the program was that adolescents and others who didn't wear costumes would take candy as well as the children. He suggested that an age limit, perhaps at 10 years old, and a provision that all participants must wear costumes could possibly earn back the approval of downtown business owners.