Send in the Clowns: Oak Park Reverses Ban on Boo Bash Costumes
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 23, 2018)
Oak Park, MI- After listening to public responses, the City of Oak Park announced today that clown costumes would no longer be banned at the annual Boo Bash event Oct. 31.
Original marketing for the event included the stipulation “no clown costumes allowed.”
When asked about the prohibition, Recreation Director Laurie Stasiak shared the logic in an email Friday.
“This event is centered around young children,” Stasiak said. I”n the past few years many clown costumes have been given a very scary and evil look. Many scary and horror movies are centered around these types of characters. About 3 years [ago] there were national incidents in the news were people were dressing up as clowns and scaring people and in some cases assaulting them. Many people have phobias and anxiety about clowns. It’s because of this that we asked people not to dress up as clowns for this community event.”
An Oakland County Times article about the ban raised community discussion, with many on social media questioning the value of the ban. In response, City Manager Erik Tungate released a press release Tuesday morning announcing reversal of the ban, but urging parents to use their best judgment with costume choice.
“Working alongside City staff, the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission makes a concerted effort to implement direct feedback they receive from the residents of our community concerning the annual Boo Bash event. Over the last few years, many parents gave direct feedback stating they were concerned their children would see clown costumes and relate it to scary movies that are targeted for an adult audience,” Tungate said.
“That said, the City will not ban people with clown costumes (or any other) from participating in the Boo Bash event, however, we are encouraging parents to use their best judgment given this is an event that caters to families and small children.”
The event attracts thousands of children for an evening of trick or treating, cider, donuts and Halloween fun. It takes place Oct. 31 from 5-8pm. For more information on the Boo Bash, visit http://oaklandcounty115.com/2018/10/19/oak-park-boo-bash-oct-31-3/.
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