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Halloween dominates downtown Greenville

By Michael Hennessey
Published On: Oct 31 2013 11:06:15 PM CDT
GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY -

The kids were out in full force around Greenville around dusk. Children sporting their favorite costumes took to neighborhoods in hopes of scoring a bounty of sweet treats.

In downtown Greenville, Halloween takes on a completely different meaning.

Thousands flooded the streets downtown in what is one of the biggest party nights of the year. "People get really intoxicated and people just throw themselves around," said one ECU student. Another described it as like "being in New York City for New Years Eve."

While the numbers don't quite match up to Times Square on New Year's, you get the picture. Sgt. Joe Friday of the Greenville Police Department said he's seen over ten thousand people come out to flood downtown. "Our objective is safety," said Friday.

Officials say there were about 120 law enforcement officers on hand to keep the crowd under control. They set up lights to improve visibility, as well as barricades at three separate entry points. The purpose of the barricades was the search every person before they entered the downtown area. "You don't have to come in, but if you come in, you have to be inspected," said Friday.

Police planned to keep the barricades up until about 2 in the morning. "You never know what you're gonna get, so you plan ahead and plan for the worst and hope for the best," said Friday.

We'll have the full report of the night's happenings as soon as it becomes available.