The Ballad of Unofficial Halloween

Unofficial Halloween 2015

I would like to start off by thanking everyone who made this year’s “Unofficial” Halloween a success. This year’s event promotion numbers were through the roof, the giveaways were well received, and the party at Pinch was insane.

I won’t be able to compile the final event numbers under the end of the week, but we are looking at well over 1 million people reached.  To be honest, it’s probably closer to 1.5 million or higher, but that’s only an educated guess at this point based on the pre-event analytics.

As of writing time, I haven’t personally heard of anything massively negative that took place during “Unofficial” Halloween weekend, but of course if something did happen, expect “Unofficial” Halloween to get blamed for it. That’s just the way things to tend to work in Carbondale.

Earlier this week one of the Daily Egyptian’s writer’s posted an ill-researched article about “Unofficial” Halloween which was nothing more than a rant by Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry about how SIU’s party school image deters prospective students from enrolling at the school.

I was contacted regarding a quote for the article, but due to apparent time constraints the author decided to go elsewhere for information. Here’s a little tip from someone who has been an active part of the media for the last 12+ years, if you need a quote from someone, give them enough time to respond. I’m not talking about days or anything like that, but more than an hour or two would be great.  And if you tell someone you are going to call them, follow through with it.

I’m a big supporter of the D.E. but this particular article was a complete mess. If you would like to read it for yourself, here’s the link. By the way, I’m digging the mention of the drunktober hashtag in the article, though. Too bad the rest of it’s a mess.

If you want to write a story about “Unofficial” Halloween and include the point of view of city officials, a little bit of research would be beneficial. While preparing for the interview, I found a quote from Carbondale councilwoman Jane Addams backing big events, Polar Bear in particular because of how much revenue it brings to the city of Carbondale.

“I have heard from business owners as well as hotels that it really does bring a lot of business to town,” Adams said. “Even more importantly, I think it makes Carbondale a place where kids can have fun.” – The quote is from an article in the Southern Illinoisian titled “Businesses Are Ready For Polar Bear.”

Even though I’ve said expressed the same opinion countless times, the City of Carbondale chooses to look the other way. As a matter of fact, when Soberly Intoxicated took over the planning of “Unofficial” Halloween in 2010, we gutted the event and made it more business friendly before rolling it out.  Don’t believe me, just ask our list of “Unofficial” Halloween sponsors.

I’m better wrap this blog entry up before I start ranting about something completely off topic, but before I do I would like to thank all of this year’s sponsors for making this event such a great success, namely Pinch Penny Pub, Copper Dragon, Pinch Penny Liquors, Hello Weekend, Spirit Halloween, ABC Liquor Mart, Crazy Coolers, Smuggle Your Booze and Wild Eye Designs. And most of all, I would like to personally thank each and every one of you that attended and helped us celebrate this year’s “Unofficial” Halloween.  Without you guys, we never would have lasted a year, let alone 8 solid years.

Anthony Greff
Soberly Intoxicated