"I Love Ferguson" plans alternative Halloween event

FERGUSON, Mo. - Concerned parents and residents of one St. Louis community prompted an idea to change a holiday tradition.

'I Love Ferguson' is planning an alternative Halloween celebration for some families who felt unsafe opening their doors and letting children walk the streets this year.

"I started hearing concerns from parents about, should they send their children out at night on Halloween, and they didn't want to open their door for trick or treaters like they normally do, and it really saddened me to hear that," Brian Fletcher, chairman for the "I Love Ferguson" Committee said.

"I think that nobody would harm our children, but I can't change the way people feel, and so I came up with an alternative," Fletcher said.

Fletcher settled on a 'Pumpkin Walk,' set for October 26 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. through the Old East Ferguson area. Participating houses will get a special sign to place in their yards. Fletcher said several local churches plan to help, and he's asking for volunteers to donate candy and walk with children.

The event is free.

Fletcher said this creates a safe environments, and offers some normalcy in a community still healing.

"I know the character of our residents here in Ferguson. And I know they want to help our children have as normal a life during this process as possible," Fletcher said.

Natalie Dubose, mother of two, debated her family's Halloween plans.

"To be honest, I wasn't going to do the trick or treat thing this year with them," Dubose said. "Because you just never know. Everything is just so, kind of unknown right now. You just never know."

Dubose also owns a bakery on South Florissant in Ferguson, which she said lost a great deal of foot traffic in recent weeks.

Dubose said communicating with her children about the challenges facing her community is difficult.

"Because they want to know, 'Mom, what are we going to do?' And I tell them, 'we are going to stay. Mommy has invested everything into this, were going to make this work.' It's going to have to work. This is a do or die for us."

Dubose found some relief in the planned holiday event through 'I love Ferguson.' Dubose plans to be there with her children.

"I think that's a great alternative to the night trick or treating, absolutely. We'll be there," Dubose said.

"I'm just grateful everyone is willing to move beyond that fear, because I'm moving beyond it," Dubose said. "I've cried many a days, I've been afraid here and there as well, but once again, there's a determination within my spirit that I have to make this work.


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