Tens of thousands celebrate Halloween on 6th Street




Posted on October 31, 2010 at 9:39 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 1 at 10:17 AM

Sixth Street drew quite a crowd for a Sunday night.  Perhaps it’s because people had an entire weekend to put their ghoulish getups together.  KVUE News spotted many creative costumes, including Jim Barker, who was dressed up as the Grateful Dead’s late front man Jerry Garcia. 

“I’m rockin’ and rollin’ and I’m going to keep on truckin!” Barker said.  He and his wife Marlyn say they’ve been spending Halloween on 6th Street for the past 28 years. 

Steve Larsen and Emma Hefti of Liberty Hill say it's their second time.

“We're not actually Austin natives so we moved here last year and saw what 6th Street is on Halloween and you have to come to it,” Larsen said.

Susan Baughman says she started coming to 6th Street again last year, after a 15-year hiatus.  She says she likes to come early.

“People want you to get your picture taken with their children and all that,” Baughman said.  “It's fun.  It's not all a crazy time on 6th street.  It's really a fun time.”

Still, as the crowd grows, police say it's no place for kids.  Police will enforce a midnight curfew for kids 16 and younger without a parent.  Karin Chopin and her family are calling it an early night. 

“[We’re] meeting up with our friends for dinner, and she wanted to see all of the costumes,” Chopin said. 
“This is her first trick or treating and then we're going home to go to bed.”

Still, Liz Patranella and her daughter Mary Ellen say they’ll be up past the witching hour.

“We come out here every year because it's so Austin, and we have to be part of the things that keep Austin weird!” Patranella said. 

The bars do not close until 2 a.m., but most people KVUE News observed were not spending their time inside of them.  Instead, most people were simply walking up and down the blocked-off street, admiring one another’s costumes. 

Police plan to keep 6th street and some of its cross streets blocked until 3 a.m.  This is a “no refusal” weekend for drunk drivers.  That means anyone suspected of DWI who refuses a breath test will have their blood drawn instead.