Global Culture, sport and tourism

Say Boo-nicipal! Local government at Halloween


Halloween is my favourite holiday. It breaks my heart that my (not-so) little boy no longer wants to do stuff with me on Halloween, although he has requested I do his lizard-man makeup before he goes out with friends on Monday night. Still, working with local government lets me see all kinds of global Halloween fun. For instance, this week there’s a fabulous conversation between LGIU’s Thomas Lynch and the Head of Culture at Derry and Strabane Council’s Head of Culture on their work on cultural heritage and festivals to support a bright future as well as their claim that Derry is the Halloween capital of world (really worth a read, find it here).

So how else are local public services celebrating the most spooktacular holiday and making a truly ‘Boo-nicipal’ effort?

Check out our Global Local: Dark Tourism with a range of additional resources for every season.


I love the Milwaukee Public Library’s take on Halloween and celebration of Stephen King’s books in this genuinely funny, but also a bit frightening video:


Charles County, in Maryland USA has released a podcast on The Ghosts of Charles County – highlighting freaky occurrences in the local area, but also how interest in paranormal activities can support tourism.

Maryland Association of Counties did indeed follow up with some spooky but fun facts about Maryland counties.

This looks genuinely scary! South Ayrshire Council’s museum (Scotland) has a decorative display for free!

Selby District Council’s (England) pumpkin trail is a great way for families to get moving across the area!

And they’re really cutthroat about their Halloween decorations in Sydney, Australia.


Staying safe on Halloween

I love the councils that are really getting into the spirt of things, but we want all the grim and gore to be just for fun. Sadly, it’s been said that more children are killed and injured by cars on Halloween than any other day.

Well done New York on closing streets to car traffic to make trick or treating safer!


And other councils are promoting safety, too!



Of course for some, Halloween isn’t such a fun time and night time visitor can be genuinely distressing, particularly for lone or vulnerable residents. Some councils are taking the approach of getting residents to print out signs asking for no trick or treaters.


However, I do hope that it isn’t being used by Halloween Scrooges, “Boo humbug,” they say.


It’s not just about safety, though that’s an important aspect – Halloween can be a good time to test out your city’s approach to urban planning and liveability, too:

Orange and black and green – the colours of Halloween

Local government is helping people stay environmentally conscious, too



However, you celebrate, I hope it’s green, safe and most of all happy! Let us know how your council is helping residents enjoy the holiday. Happy Halloween from me and LGIU.


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