Waynesboro Halloween Event Could be Canceled due to Construction
Halloween is around the corner, but for some businesses and trick-or-treaters in Waynesboro, there might be a bit of a damper on the festivities. The city is considering canceling the annual Trick-or-Treat Trail in the downtown area due to the ongoing streetscape construction work.
City planners say the project has already made vast improvements to the downtown area, but it may impact Halloween plans. They're still trying to figure out how far along the work will be on October 31, but as this is one of the biggest events of the year for some area businesses, merchants are unhappy.
"We just can't cancel it because it's what's expected by our community," said Jennifer Ledford, owner of Initial Inspiration in downtown Waynesboro.
Ledford says last year 1,000 trick-or-treaters came through her store and she's hoping things stay the same.
"It would be very disappointing to me. It would be disappointing to me as a merchant just because, like I said, biggest community event, and people will come down and there are still people that come in my store and say, 'Gosh, I never knew this was here before,'" said Ledford.
Ledford and several other shop owners met last week over their concerns and many agreed - families and kids will still come because it's a holiday tradition. But for her, this is not just about business.
"My kids have participated in this for years. And it's something they look forward to. My children have been asking me 'What are we going to be for Halloween?' for the last two months," said Ledford.
But city planners say the event may not go on because the work may make it impossible to host the trail safely. While the construction may inconvenience Halloween plans, planners feel it will better the city in the long run.
"A lot of what this is about is replacing old, broken sidewalks, curb lines, repaving the street, but it's also about adding street trees, and benches, and other things that will make our downtown more attractive to tourists and our own citizens," said Michael Barnes, Waynesboro city planner.
Barnes says the project is at the midway point, and workers have already transformed several sections. But for Ledford, calling the event off should not be an option.
"I would much rather have my sidewalk blocked off, and being in a different location giving out candy verses not having it at all," said Ledford.
Crews hope to finish the work by the end of the year. The project started in early July. If you'd like to track the progress or check in on other downtown development projects, click here.
City planners say they will update us when a decision is made regarding the trail.
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