Angel’s Night in Detroit was started in 1995 by former Mayor Dennis Archer Sr. to combat hundreds of acts of arson and vandalism in the city the night before Halloween. The campaign was initiated after a brutal night of violence in Detroit in 1994.
Crimes of arson have decreased over the years during the three-day period leading up to Halloween, so the city wants to give the holiday back to the children of Detroit.
Starting this October, Halloween in Detroit will be a night for families and children again. The mayor’s Office, led by the Department of Neighborhoods, announced plans for Detroit’s first “Halloween in the D,” a citywide series of special events, haunted houses and trunk-or-treat locations at parks, recreation centers, police stations and fire houses.
“We made a promise to Detroit’s children that from now on, Halloween is going to be for them,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Halloween in the D will be the start of a very special new tradition in our city, something all Detroiters will be proud to say is especially their own.”
Most of the events will take place on Halloween night, but others, such as parties and events at city recreation centers will take place in the days leading up to Halloween. The city first rolled out with several of these activities last year on Halloween on a more limited basis. However, community response was so strong, they decided to expand on it and make it an annual city initiative.
Events are planned throughout the city on Halloween, including three haunted parks at Rouge, Chandler and Clark parks. A harvest fest will take place at Spirit Plaza on Woodward Avenue and “trunk-or-treat” events will be offered at all 12 Detroit Police precincts. Every fire station will open its doors on Halloween to pass out candy and offer children a look at the fire equipment and there will even be a haunted DDOT bus.
“No other city in our area is going to have as much fun on Halloween as we’re going to have in Detroit,” said Group Executive for Neighborhoods, Jimmy Settles. “It is days like this that really bring a community together and the Department of Neighborhoods is thrilled to help make it happen.
While the city of Detroit is taking care of most of the planning and logistics, there are still some things residents can do to support the new Halloween in the D celebration, including donating candy or volunteering to decorate your car for Trunk-or-Treat activities at police precincts. Residents can also join or start a local neighborhood radio patrol. To get Involved or for more information on activities or to volunteer, residents can visit www.halloweeninthed.org or call (313) 224-4415.
“The people of the city of Detroit volunteered and curbed the arson problem and now I think the people will come together and make Halloween special again,” said Mayor Duggan. “Ten years from now, you’re going to have children who their only memory of Halloween is dressing up and trick or treating.”
The city has numerous sponsors for the event, receiving $20,500 in cash and in-kind donations. Ford Motor Company donated $5,000 and 150 Ford employee volunteers will sort candy and work at the haunted park at Clark Park. Other major sponsors include: Adamo, Comcast, DTE Energy, Detroit Renewable Energy, Homrich, J. Fons Company, KEO and Associates, Little Caesars Enterprises, Miller Canfield, Operating Engineers Local 324 and SER Metro Detroit. The city is still looking for companies and organizations to sign up as Halloween in the D sponsors.
“Halloween is an exciting time for families and children, and Halloween in the D gives everyone in the city an opportunity to come together and celebrate,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford. “Ford is proud to be a part of this event and to have our Ford Volunteer Corps support Halloween in the D.”