Maui Police Project Larger Crowd for Lahaina Halloween
By Wendy Osher
Maui police are increasing officer presence during Halloween festivities in Lahaina this year in anticipation of a larger crowd projected at between 30,000 and 35,000–up from the 28,000 revelers who attended last year, officials tell Maui Now.
This year, there will be 140 officers on duty for the Oct. 31 event — 100 of them patrolling Front Street — according to Lahaina District Commander Captain Mollie Klingman.
Capt. Klingman joined Lahaina Patrol Commander Lieutenant Derrick Lopez in presenting a police operations plan for the annual event to the Maui Police Commission this morning.
There will also be a cruise ship in port on the west side on Halloween, which will add an unknown amount of additional individuals to the event, said Lt. Lopez, who noted that the vessel is tentatively scheduled to depart at around 6 p.m.
The increase in the crowd size comes as organizers host a full-return of the event for the third consecutive year after a lull in activity between 2008 and 2010 due to a dispute over festivities in the Lahaina Historic District, and failure to secure permits for a road closure on Front Street during those years.
When the event was re-introduced in 2011, it was marketed as a more family-friendly festivity, as organizers and sponsors tried to rid the event of its reputation and nickname from Halloween’s past as the Mardi Gras of the Pacific.
Police say people know what is expected of them now as opposed to 15 years ago when some revelers “just painted their bodies with latex as a costume.” Police will issue citations for lewdness, indecent exposure, drinking alcohol in public areas, and other violations of law detailed below.
The crowd growth is also projected to be larger this year because Halloween falls on a Thursday, which is closer to the weekend, instead of in the middle or beginning of the week, as in years past, said Lt. Lopez.
Police say that in addition to patrols on Front Street, there will be a mobile command vehicle on site; staging areas for fire and ambulance personnel; and 18 officers stationed at five intersections to block vehicle access onto Front Street from lateral roads.
As a safety precaution, police say lighting on Front Street is also being improved with 16 light towers to be used, up three from last year.
While manpower is up, police say patrol units had schedules adjusted so they are on straight pay for the event, with no overtime.
In anticipation of the event, police will be placing cones in parking areas on the roadway about 24 hours in advance, with any cars remaining to be towed during the closure period, which starts at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31.
Police say they plan to reopen Front Street between 10:30 and 11 p.m. on Oct. 31, with the hopes of dispersing the crowd off the street by turning down live music at around the same time.
In a meeting with merchants this week, police said shop owners had hopes that the crowds would move inside their businesses instead of leaving the event for the night when the road reopens.
Participants and spectators are reminded of the following safeguards that will be employed during the Halloween festivities:
No Parking Street Closures
Parking will be prohibited in the following areas between the hours of 3:30 p.m., Oct. 31, 2013 and 2 a.m., Nov. 1, 2013:
- Front Street, from Prison Street to Baker Street
- Dickenson Street, from Front Street to Baldwin House Parking Lot
- Lahainaluna Road, from Front Street to Wainee Street
- Papalaua Street, from Front Street to the entrance of the Lahaina Center
Taxi cab companies are reminded to not obstruct traffic for dropping off and picking fairs. Violators will be cited and towed at their own expense.
Enforcement of Rules and Law
To ensure a safe and enjoyable time for all, the Maui Police Department will be on special alert for the following violations:
- Drinking of alcoholic beverages will not be allowed or tolerated in public areas. The use of plastic cups, water bottles, or any other drinking container to conceal liquor consumption is prohibited.
- Open lewdness will not be allowed or tolerated.
- Toy replicas of guns, knives, swords, or other types of weapons utilized as part of one’s costume will be inspected by the police. If found to be real or utilized in a dangerous manner, they will be confiscated and proper charges initiated.
- Throwing eggs, stink bombs or firecrackers may seem funny or amusing, however, it is dangerous and violators will be prosecuted.
- Although creativity is encouraged, costumes that pose a hazard to public safety due to their size or construction will be evaluated and will banned if deemed inappropriate. Please keep mobility and safety, especially the safety of the pedestrian population at the event, in mind when designing your costume.
- Dogs will not be allowed in the area with the exception of registered service animals.
- Stationary performances within the event area will not be allowed. For example, no stopping to play music or putting on a skit. No drums or other percussion instruments will be allowed on Front Street.