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Frenchtown will close some streets to protect trick-or-treaters


To ensure the safety of the hundreds of trick-or-treaters who converge on Frenchtown, N.J., on Halloween night, several streets will be closed to vehicular traffic.

At its Oct. 2 meeting, borough council agreed upon the closure of Harrison Street between Second and Sixth streets; Lower Second Street; all of Third, Fourth and Fifth streets; and Railroad Avenue from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Frenchtown limits trick-or-treating to 6 to 8 p.m.

Residents of the closed streets will be allowed to proceed carefully home, but they will have to negotiate with the volunteers and police officers on duty.

Based on the amount of candy she dispenses each year, Councilwoman Michele Liebtag estimates that about 800 children ply the core trick-or-treat area of Frenchtown. As police commissioner, she worked with Fire Chief Mike Atheras and police officer-in-charge Marc Wilson to devise the road-closure plan.

Drivers “can still get around, but it’s going to be limited,” she said. Milford Road, a north-south artery and truck route will remain open for through traffic and for people looking for places to park. Some parking spaces can be found at the school and at the soccer field across from the school.

Some additional lighting will be set up, and the borough Community Emergency Response Team will be helping police and firefighters control the traffic. Although Frenchtown has traditionally been a trick-or-treat vortex, this is the first time streets are being closed for the protection of the festive pedestrians and their parents.

Besides hosting lots of trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, Frenchtown is also the scene of a Halloween Parade on Saturday, Oct. 26. Sponsored by the Frenchtown American Legion, costumed children and adults start forming up at 6 p.m. near the Delaware River bridge.

At 6:30 p.m., they will march up Bridge Street and take a left on Harrison Street.

Costumes will be judged at the Legion Hall, and prizes will be awarded. Everyone is invited to participate.