Devil’s Night long defined the Halloween season in Detroit, with scores of acts of vandalism and arson taking over the city on October 30th during the 1970s through 1990s. In the mid-1990s, Angels Night was created in order to reduce these destructive acts, and as many as 50,000 Detroit citizen volunteers took to the streets on the night before Halloween to guard the city. Arsons and violent acts have decreased monumentally since then, and this year the city is preparing for a different kind of Halloween.
“Halloween in the D” will stage events around the city for children and families on October 31st. Rouge Park, Chandler Park, and Clark Park will host haunted parks, a harvest festival will fill Spirit Plaza, and “trunk-or-treat” events will be at every fire station and Detroit Police precinct. Each of the seven districts will host one community meal to honor current and attract future community volunteers.
The Detroit News reported that at a Wednesday press conference Mayor Duggan spoke positively of the shift to the “Halloween in the D” events. “We feel we’ve made enough progress that we can make Halloween about the children and we’re really excited about that . . . We got to the point where we said, ‘why do we keep talking about this? And so the people of the city volunteered and curbed the problem and now I think the people will come together and make Halloween special. Ten years from now, you’re going to have children who their only memory of Halloween is dressing up and trick or treating.”
Volunteers can sign up to help at “Halloween in the D” events on the website, and Detroiters interested in the festivities running from October 26th to the 31st can find the full schedule on the website as well.