Friday, November 24, 2006

Halloween? What 'Strip'?

Reports Jason Lee in The Southern Ilinoisan: Illinois Ave. Bars forced to close over Halloween: "Carbondale should continue forcing bars on 'the Strip' to close during Halloween because it's 'in the interest of public safety' to prevent street parties during the holiday, a report by City Staff suggests."

Strip? What "Strip"? That was decimated years ago. And finished off with the intersection from hell at "Mi'llinois Aves."

The original Halloween party was (i think) 1977, after a Bob Dylan concert. I was there. Spontaneous, peaceful and fun. Not a bunch of itinerant, vandalizing drunks. It did get pretty destructive though, and the City was wise to curb it when they did. Now, however, things have changed. I think the city could safely open the street again. It might be interesting to read the audio recording of the City Council discussion. The City has done a good job of making these available. For instance, you can download and listen to the Council discussion of the Clean Air ordinance and the Report and Recommendations on "Holloween." I wonder if Doherty reads all 27 pages. I'll let you know.


Anonymous said...

77 was a big one, what with the Dylan concert and all. My first was in 76 and it was already a pretty decent party at that time.

I can't speak for what happened before that, but I think it is possible that 77 was when it started to get too big.

In the fall of 76 and early 77, it was not unusual to have the street close nearly every Friday and Saturday night for at least a little while.

tom said...

I saw an unusual news story in the Tribune this year. Some guy from Carbondale actually went up to Madison "looking for some action." But Madison had co-opted its Halloween violence, roping off State Street (or whatever), bringing in bands, charging admission, etc., and it was calm there too. Only goes to show, there's more than one way to beat a dead horse.

Anonymous said...


PeterG said...

I think is 1981 or 82 they had a set of bands in front of the Rec Center that included Big Twist and The Mellow Fellows. It was a good show. Of course, back then everyone was in costume and stoned. Maybe if you are in costume and stoned you are less likely to throw full beer cans at other people?

I'm sure it was running 1972 when I moved here, I'll ask my buddies who have been in town forever when it started.

Anonymous said...

SIUC tried to co-opt the Halloween celebration for a few years by moving over to the area across the street from the Rec center and closing off Grand Avenue.

If I recall correctly, they had the SIUC chapter of the American Marketing Association run it, which put a ton of money in the AMA chapter's pockets and got them an office in the Student Center. The office was still there a few years ago but the AMA doesn't control anything like the money it once did.