Sadly, nowadays, old-fashioned trick-or-treating through one’s own neighborhood has fallen out of favor for a number of reasons– safety, weather, location– so many communities are establishing other ways in which kids can enjoy the holiday without getting frostbite or old school ’70s-style razor blades in candy.
The Parks & Recreation Department of the town of Oak Park, Michigan decided that rather than having kids traipse up and down streets, that they would throw a Boo Bash at a local community center where parents could bring their little ghouls to a fun indoor festival instead. Trick-or-treating would be contained in one area, while parents would be welcome to enjoy cider and donuts (the combination of which sounds kind of gross). The advertisement read “Bring children in their favorite costume”… that is unless their favorite costume is a damn clown!
For whatever reason, the town of Oak Park decided to ban clown costumes. But the internet wasn’t havin’ that. After an outcry on social media, Oak Park has reversed that decision and has opted to allow clowns.
Here’s the advertisement that caused the fuss:
Recreation Director Laurie Stasiak spoke to the Oakland County Times, and said:
“This event is centered around young children. In the past few years many clown costumes have been given a very scary and evil look. Many scary and horror movies are centered around these types of characters.
“About 3 years [ago] there were national incidents in the news were people were dressing up as clowns and scaring people and in some cases assaulting them. Many people have phobias and anxiety about clowns. It’s because of this that we asked people not to dress up as clowns for this community event.”
But after negative feedback online, the City Manager, Erik Tungate issued a statement that reads in part:
“Over the last few years, parents gave direct feedback stating that they were concerned their children would see clown costumes and relate it to scary movies that are targeted for an adult audience.
“The city will not ban people with clown costumes (or any other) from participating in the Boo Bash event, however we are encouraging parents to use their best judgment given that this is an event that caters to parents and small children.”
Sorry, was the name of this town Oak Park, Michigan or Pawnee, Indiana?
Honestly, of all the offensive costumes out there, I don’t know that clowns are necessarily the most outrageous. How about a “lingerie is not a costume” rule?
But at any rate, Oak Park clown rejoice and get ready to get down to clown this Halloween!