Beggars' Night in Bexley will be 30 minutes shorter than usual this year.
City officials announced the event will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31.
The time change was made to have fewer youngsters on the streets after dark, addressing safety concerns and complaints from residents who said older teenagers were in their back yards last year.
"We shortened the trick-or-treat hours by half an hour this year based on concerns from the police department regarding the safety of trick-or-treat in Bexley," Mayor Ben Kessler said. "Last year, traffic congestion on a particular street in Bexley became a significant problem for the police department, and caused us to step back and rethink how we schedule trick-or-treat.
"In general, a large volume of traffic is coming and going during the hours of trick-or-treat in Bexley, making the portion of trick-or-treat that occurs after sunset potentially very dangerous, when there is extra vehicular traffic circulating at the same time that kids are out on the streets."
"We discussed several options at council over the summer, and shortening the time by a half-hour seemed like the simplest and most reasonable option," Kessler said. "Considering that most Bexley resident trick-or-treat traffic naturally slows down by around 7 p.m., the change to 5:30 to 7 (p.m.) seemed like a good way to balance concerns for safety with a desire to preserve what is a fantastic community event."
Police also said the shorter time frame will make it easier for them to patrol.
"The mayor's focus is clearly on community safety and I sincerely appreciate his effort to make our trick-or-treat night a safe and enjoyable event for everyone," Police Chief Larry Rinehart said. "I think the mayor has done a nice job in balancing the concerns of the police officers and police supervisors who work the event with the desires of the community to maintain the tradition of our trick-or-treat night."
The city of Columbus will observe Beggars' Night from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31.