Police hope for smooth Halloween in Lahaina

With up to 35,000 people expected to attend Halloween events in Lahaina, police officers will be out in force along a stretch of Front Street that will be closed to vehicle traffic for the spooky festivities.

Parking will be prohibited on Front Street between Baker and Prison streets, with the four-block portion of the road closed starting at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 31, about an hour before the 34th annual Keiki Halloween Costume Parade begins at 4:30 p.m.

Also starting at 3:30 p.m. and continuing to 2 a.m. Nov. 1, parking will be prohibited on the following adjoining streets:

* Dickenson Street from Front Street to the Baldwin House parking lot.

* Lahainaluna Road from Front to Wainee streets.

* Papalaua Street from Front Street to the entrance of Lahaina Center.

Police said violators will be cited and towed at their own expense.

“We’re expecting approximately 30,000 to 35,000 people in attendance this year,” said police Lt. Derrick Lopez of the Lahaina Patrol District. “But with the help of other governmental agencies, we’re hoping for a smooth and successful Halloween event for everyone to enjoy.”

He said attendance is expected to grow from the estimated 27,000 people who attended last year, in part because Halloween falls on a Thursday and is closer to the weekend.

“There will be over 100 police officers both in uniform and in plainclothes, stationed throughout Front Street and the Lahaina town area strictly enforcing state and county laws and ordinances,” Lopez said.

In addition, police traffic officers will be conducting roving DUI patrols in the Lahaina area. Police are advising drivers that traffic will be slowed because of the Halloween events.

“In anticipation of this year’s Halloween festivities on Front Street in Lahaina, we are asking for the public’s cooperation and assistance in helping to keep it a safe and fun, family event,” Lopez said.

“This year’s revelers are asked to please keep in mind good taste and judgment when wearing their Halloween costumes and displaying proper behavior in public. Any form of nudity or public intoxication will not be tolerated.”

Police said drinking of alcoholic beverages will not be allowed in public areas. Dogs also are not allowed except for registered service animals.

Police will be on special alert for:

* Open lewdness, which will not be allowed.

* Throwing of eggs, stink bombs or firecrackers, which will result in prosecution of offenders.

* Toy replicas of guns, knives, swords or other weapons used as part of a costume, which will be inspected by police. If weapons are found to be real or used in a dangerous way, they will be confiscated.

* Costumes that pose a hazard to public safety because of their size or construction, which could be banned. Police advise people to consider mobility and the safety of pedestrians in designing costumes.

* Stationary performances in the area, which will not be allowed. For example, people will not be allowed to stop to play music or put on a skit. No drums or other percussion instruments will be allowed.

Halloween activities, including a costume contest and live music, are planned at Banyan Tree Park and Campbell Park.

Police anticipate reopening Front Street at about 10:30 p.m.

This will be the third year that organized Halloween activities have returned to Lahaina. Crowds had decreased starting in 2008, when the county Cultural Resources Commission rejected a permit for the festivities in Lahaina after there were complaints that celebrations had become too risque and offensive to Native Hawaiians in the historic district.

Under Mayor Alan Arakawa’s administration, starting in 2011, the county removed any element from the event that would trigger a review by the commission.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.