Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I don't know if you've heard, but Halloween on Franklin Street is kind of a big deal in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

(What?! Halloween? Um, Leslie, we're in the middle of summer. You're getting a little ahead of yourself. I know, I know. Hang with me. I have a point.)

In fact, at one point I'm pretty sure that UNC was one of the top ten campuses to be at for Halloween. From Wikipedia:

Franklin Street is most notable for its Halloween celebration which occurs annually on October 31. Tens of thousands of all age groups attend the event each year; nearly 80,000 attended in 2004. The event is not town sponsored and the town actually discourages out-of-towners from attending; yet, an influx of non-residents descend on the town each year despite the town's suggestion. In an attempt to promote order during the event the Town of Chapel Hill now closes the street to traffic after 8:00 p.m. on Halloween and directs visitors to satellite parking decks around the town, from where buses can shuttle tourists to the main event area. Attendees of the event typically dress in costume and stroll Franklin Street enjoying the wide array of festive atire and snapping photos.

When you've just graduated from UNC and are still living in Chapel Hill, Halloween on Franklin Street continues to beckon. And who was I to say no? I was living in the notorious E-Ranch with Debo, Anna and Carlye in October of 2000. Four of us. I started thinking of possible coordinating costumes for four people. Of course, Wizard of Oz came to mind, being my favorite movie of all time. There was some discussion of the four of us going as the main characters.

Ok, actually, I suggested that I go as Dorothy and the other three could be the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man. I think I remember Anna's response being hysterical laughter and, "So, let me get this straight. You want to be cute little Dorothy and the rest of us could be your sidekicks?!" And more hysterical laughter from all three ensued.

The idea of going as group characters being shot down, we all pursued our own individual costumes. I, of course, stayed the course and went as Dorothy. Just a more...how shall I say?... grown up version of Dorothy. Debbie had the perfect dress hanging in her closet, never having been worn, and I created my own ruby slippers. I wasn't dirty or anything, I just wasn't this version from when I was in 3rd grade:

I don't remember what Debo decided to go as. She may have vetoed Halloween that year. She would break with convention that way, back in The E-Ranch days. I do know that Naoshi went as Santana. This would end up being really funny later on in the night...Debo? Feel free to remind me in the comments.

Carlye and Anna headed to the fabric section of Wal-Mart and let their imaginations run wild. The result? Anna as Pocohontas and Carlye as a Wood Nymph.

Except that for most of the night up on Franklin Street, Anna and Naoshi costumes were mistaken for Cheech and Chong. Seriously. If I remember correctly, Anna's feelings were seriously injured. And why wouldn't they be? When you create a costume from scratch in an attempt to be a noble Native American and are mistaken for a high, unemployed, idiotic pothead, wouldn't you be mad too?


  1. yes, people. she really did suggest that we go as her/dorothy's sidekicks. and most everyone really did mistake me for Cheech of Cheech and Chong. sigh.

  2. cousin meg8:18 PM

    you're one of the lucky ones... most people don't have the courage (or possibly the lucid memories) to reminisce about Franklin Street Halloween costumes. sadly i'm pretty sure I fall into that majority.


Love me some comments! If you don't have a Google/Gmail ID, please make sure you leave your name and/or email. Also, I moderate my comments so don't be alarmed if it doesn't show up right away. Thanks, y'all!