City council votes to lift Halloween bar ban

By Jordan Duncan, @jordanduncanDE

Restrictions on the sale of alcohol in Carbondale on the week of Halloween have been fully rescinded for 2015.

The Carbondale City Council met Tuesday to discuss the sale of liquor and called for a vote on the restrictions. Two council members voted to keep the limitation.

Lee Fronabarger, a city council member, voted no and said the Halloween riots that happened about 17 years ago caused problems for the university.


“When you hurt the reputation of an institution, not only a city but a school university, it takes years to rebuild that,” he said.

Council members who voted to remove the restriction said there were less people coming into the city than expected during Halloween 2014, costing the city overtime pay for the two weekends in which police remained active.

Fronabarger said crowds may not have appeared because partiers were reluctant to go outside in the cold. He acknowledged that this year’s Halloween falls on a Saturday, and problems may arise from 300 new residents in new developments downtown.

“I just wanted to be a little cautious and get past that,” Fronabarger said. “Let’s get past the Saturday celebration and nothing happens, it’s fine. Open it up next year.”

Adam Loos, a city council member, voted yes and said the police are trained and able to handle a large crowd, and it is time to rescind the restrictions.

“No one really has any objection to a big Halloween party,” Loos said. “The objection people have is to riots and violence and property damage.”

Navreet Kang, another city council member who voted yes, said the restrictions are an unfair punishment for three bars downtown.


“I would like to see that, once and for all, let the party begin but in a sensible way,” Kang said.

Kang said it does not help the city move forward to put Carbondale’s past back in the limelight.

“Hopefully we can move forward and never revisit this issue again,” Kang said.