Now that the dust of Halloween 2013 has had a couple of weeks to settle, we’ve come to a few conclusions.
We are now:
- pretty much sick of anything pumpkin spice flavored.
- fed-up with tiny individually wrapped candy bars.
- relieved “Carbondale Halloween” came and went with little to report.
After much press and debate about the 12 year Halloween bar closing on the Strip finally being lifted for Halloween 2013, nothing happened.
Well, that’s not entirely true. A few things happened.
This burglary happened: Carbondale Police Investigate Halloween Night Burglary
But I think we can all agree, this story is fairly ho-hum, and while we are sorry for the victims of this crime, this could happen (and sadly, often does happen) any weekend in Carbondale.
The Southern Illinoisan mentions the lack of activity to report in their article: Strip Proves to be Calm during Halloween
After all of the discussion, hand-wringing and worry, everything turned out pretty much OK. Is it the fact that Carbondale has adapted over the past decade to celebrate “Unofficial Halloween” the weekend before? For some reason, even though it was decided back in July that the Strip would be open this year, many still celebrated Unofficial Halloween the weekend prior. Maybe this diffused the celebration?
Did the torrential downpour that drenched Carbondale most of Halloween day and evening discourage people from getting out? The rain had pretty much stopped in Carbondale by 9pm, which is well before most people take to the Strip anyway.
It’s hard to be certain where the rioters went. Are the students that replaced them less interested in causing trouble? Or do they just have better things to do with their time now? Are they too busy twerking and hash-tagging? Is the riotous nature of Carbondale Halloween’s dark period finally behind us?
It’s not as though students of the 2010’s are above gathering in large crowds to cause trouble. In 2011, all it took was a weeknight power outage and a prank fire alarm pull at Brush Towers to incite residents into assaulting each other and jumping on cars. No major damage or police force was reported, although police were present in riot gear with tear-gas at the ready.
I think we can all agree that the nineties and turn of the century were kind of a confused and sometimes ugly time (remember Woodstock 99 anyone?) For some reason, rioting against authority was kind of in fashion during that time. It’s not like it was anything new, but there was a lot of pissed-off pent-up tension for awhile.
We were worried about Y2K for years, and then disappointed when nothing happened. We were barraged with terrible music from bands such as Korn and Limp Bizkit, while “Post-Grunge” had become an over-saturated genre. (Isn’t it bad enough it was even a genre at all??) Kurt Cobain had died, but Scott Stapp lived. The long awaited Star Wars prequel introduced society to Jar Jar Binks. And on top of everything, we didn’t yet have Facebook or Twitter to blow off steam and complain about our lives to hundreds of people whenever we felt like it. Thinking back, I’m surprised I didn’t burn anything or flip over a car or two. How did we get ever through it?!
Speaking from experience, back in the nineties, the number one reason we ever “took the Strip” was to find our friends after we all got kicked out of the bars. We didn’t have cell phones back then, and we had to actually walk up to a person and ask them where after-hours was happening.
There was a lot of wandering around finding one friend, establishing a plan, then losing that friend while trying to find the other one, then getting swept into the LaBamba’s line, ordering a burrito, and then finally trying to eat that burrito, all while walking down the middle of Illinois Avenue amongst a crowd of drunk people all doing the same thing. Yes, occasionally there was a female or two, hoisted upon shoulders, encouraged to lift her shirt. So what? 99% of the time, nobody got hurt, no property was damaged, and eventually everyone finally found their friends, or gave up and wandered off on their own.
Has the invention of texting and social media taken away our need to take the Strip and form crowds that may or may not incite bad behavior? Did everyone just make arrangements about Halloween after-hours on their smart phones, and leave the Strip peacefully at closing time? Maybe. This is purely our speculation.
At a recent City Council meeting, it was discussed that they will likely continue to allow the bars on the Strip to remain open and will hope for the best. Read the Carbondale Times article to feel the love between Mayor Fritzler and Councilwoman Jane Adams.
As always, we are hoping for the best for Carbondale’s future, and looking forward to growing tired of peppermint and eggnog flavored everything by December.