Neighbors in West Asheville are banding together to assemble the 3rd closing of Vermont Avenue for children and families who gather for Trick or Treating this Halloween. Vermont Avenue will be barricaded and manned by volunteers to assure safety and convenience for the trick or treaters and residents. Candy donations are also being gathered at local businesses and through online donations to supplement the houses who are hit the hardest by the thousands of children who arrive.
On this year’s Vermont Avenue Halloween, which occurs on a Saturday, all through-traffic will shut down on Vermont Avenue starting at 5:30 p.m. and will resume at 9 p.m. Residents and emergency vehicles will be allowed access. To minimize traffic and confusion for volunteers, residents with visitors for the evening are encouraged direct their guests to park outside of the closure or to arrive and depart outside of closure hours. Trick-or-treaters are encouraged to walk or bike to the area as parking is limited. Parking may be available at West Asheville Park, on side streets, or around Haywood Rd.
“I’m really excited to hear they’re closing the street off because last year I took pictures of all the people with cars driving down it and it really felt unsafe.” said Michael Dickson, Vermont Avenue resident, the first year of the highly successful undertaking by neighbors and volunteers.
“Halloween can be very overwhelming to the residents who hand out 1,000’s of pieces of candy each year. We collect candy donations at local businesses and purchase candy with what is left over from our online fundraising. Safety is the first goal but we also want to allow the residents of Vermont Avenue to enjoy the night”, said Karen Ostergaard, Vermont resident and event organizer.
Volunteers are needed to assist with the barricades, guiding cars to better parking options, opening for residents and EMS vehicles and more. Groups are encouraged to work together on the barricade shifts, and costumes and decorations are encouraged.
For further information, there is a website which can accept donations and take volunteer sign ups. Organizers can be contacted through email.
I can’t be the only West Ashevillain who’s annoyed by this event. They steal all our trick-or-treaters and then also expect us to donate candy? I’m not going to pay you to make my Halloween suck. I live on a quiet, safe side street that would be great for trick-or-treating, if everyone didn’t go to Vermont. I’m sure it’s a great time over there, but I don’t have kids and prefer not to be a weird creeper spying on others’. Sure, this comment is selfish, but so is hogging a holiday that could be for everyone, and then demanding money/candy in exchange and being smugly self-congratulatory. Oooh, we’re doing it all for the kids! We’re such good neighbors! Screw you, Vermont.