Sad News for Foster City - No Halloween 'Safe Streets' Event This Year

Event sponsor, Foster City Rotary Club, says the event has become 'a victim of its own success.'


A long-beloved Halloween tradition in Foster City has unfortunately been canceled for 2012.

The Foster City Rotary Club announced Tuesday that the annual "Safe Streets" event, which has been taking place locally for roughly 40 years, will not be taking place this year.

Rotary Club President Noemi Avram said the reason behind the cancellation is a tragic one - the event has just become too successful, to the point that it is putting a strain on the surrounding neighborhood.

"While Halloween Safe Streets has been a fun family event over the years, in many ways, it has been the victim of its own success," Avram told Patch on Tuesday. "It has grown far beyond the Foster City community event it started out to be."

Avram said that, in recent years, the event has become so popular, it has started attracting families from as far as the South and East bay areas, causing logistical and safety problems for surrounding homes and for the event organizers.

"Given the limited number of neighborhoods capable of logistically and safely accommodating it, the Rotary Club has heard reasonable concerns from residents in those neighborhoods that are called upon to host the event year after year," she explained. "It has also become increasingly challenging to staff and manage the event from a public safety perspective."

In 2011, it is estimated around 3,000 to 5,000 children attended the Safe Streets Halloween event, which was held in Farragut Park area in the neighborhood surrounded by Halsey, Farragut and Beach Park boulevards.

Many families say the attraction of the Safe Streets event was celebrating with your neighbors and knowing that the treats were safe, having been supplied directly from candy manufacturers through the generous monetary donations of the local Rotarians, community individuals and businesses.

Avram told Patch that the Rotary will evaluate the decision whether or not to hold the event on a year-by-year basis, starting again next year. If conditions are favorable, the Club will revisit holding the event again sometime in the future.

"In the meantime, the Rotary Club of Foster City hopes families will enjoy the safe and fun spirit of traditional trick-or-treating door-to-door in their own neighborhoods.”


PATCH WANTS TO KNOW - How do you feel about Safe Streets being canceled? Do you live in a home near where the event is usually held? If so, did the Safe Streets event cause your family concern? Tell us in the comments below.


For the latest in local Halloween event news, follow Patch! And don't forget to sign up for our daily e-newsletter and breaking news alerts, delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign up for Foster City Patch's daily newsletter |  Like Foster City Patch on Facebook | Blog for Foster City Patch | Follow Foster City Patch on Twitter

Allene September 19, 2012 at 01:35 PM
I have always felt this tradition was an overkill and response to the scare tactics of Halloween. Kudos to the neighborhoods for hosting this. I felt there were more CERT folks than kids an overkill also. Better candy at home neighbors but more socializing at Safe Streets. Time to stay home and answer the doors ourselves...I hope the July 4th celebration isn't eliminated due to the invasion of out of towners and consequent fights, etc...Kudos to towing the cars at Metro Center to curtail the out of town Squatters who stay all day at Ryan Park..Again the visitors keep us from enjoying a local tradition. Thank you F.C. and Rotary for keeping this tradition alive all theae years...
A Guthrie September 19, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Back to basics...what a concept.
June Bell September 19, 2012 at 07:35 PM
If I were a Patch editor, I'd have deleted the word "unfortunately" from the lead. News coverage shouldn't contain editorial opinion, and that word conveys the writer's opinion about the news. Also, I take issue with the word "tragic" to describe the cancellation of Safe Streets. Disappointing, yes. But let's save "tragic" for something truly devastating.
Kh September 19, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Of those 5,000 attendings last year how many does the rotary club think will see this news? Not even half of that.. Now our neighborhood will have to handle the situation out of our own pockets and will still have to deal with the same traffic congestion and safety issues, which will be disastrous without city staffing. It's ridiculous to try and end something that has grown this popular. It's too late to end this thing and people will still come. I live on Blythe St and my family participates every year. We look forward to it as much as the visitors do. I feel it is a pleasure to offer the children from other city's a safe place to trick or treat. Let's face it, Foster City doesn't really need a "safe" street. Our retirees and soccer moms that make up the majority of this city are no threat. Its Obvious why people come here from the east and south bay. Their children are safer here and we should be proud of that. I think this city should be more democratic about this situation. I do understand it is not Foster City's responsibility to provide this for other cities. This concept has become so successful because it is much needed everywhere. I think rather than selfishly shutting the whole thing down, we should either be expanding the peramiters of safe streets or convincing surrounding cities to participate and host their own safe streets as well. Like the previous commenter said, I hope we can still keep our 4th of July. If we cancel this we might as well cancel that.
Jennifer van der Kleut September 19, 2012 at 08:36 PM
June - thanks for your input. I used those words because that was the feeling conveyed by the organization that feels forced to cancel the event due to its growing size. But yes, you are right, it is not devastating or life-threatening, so I do take your feedback to heart. Thanks for reading and letting us know what you think. :)
Private Citizen September 19, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Excellent comment, and canceling this late is absurd! The candy was generally smaller than given at most homes in Foster City, but the house decorstions and community atmosphere were great. The kids will still come because Foster City is a safe town. Without volunteers, police and fire presence and organization, it will be a mess this year.
Toyeminator September 20, 2012 at 06:47 AM
Correct. 'Tragic' in the original Greek meaning refers to the potential of greatness if but for a major character flaw (a la Bill Clinton). Ending a long-term tradition is a loss for FC but not a tragedy.
Jason McComb October 16, 2012 at 02:18 AM
“CHARTER SQUARE MERCHANTS STEP UP FOR A SAFE HALLOWEEN The merchants in Charter Square are planning a fun and safe Halloween activity, which they are calling “SCARE IN THE SQUARE”. Participating Merchants will offer trick or treat candy, food, and other surprises. The event features a 4000 square foot Haunted House called the ”Shaolin Mystery Maze”, where guests can try to escape the maze while not getting too freaked out! (A fun version for small children will be available as well). The event is in direct response to the cancellation of SAFE STREETS, an event usually offered by the Foster City Rotary Club in conjunction with the City of Foster City. “SCARE IN THE SQUARE” will start at 5:30 PM and end at 8:00 PM, and is free to the general public. For more information visit www.chartersquaremerchants.com”
Alicia Lopez October 17, 2012 at 11:09 PM
My baby boy is turning 1 Oct 23rd and the first place I thought of taking him was at Safe Streets. I was really bummed to find out it was being cancelled. Can you at least provide other options or other cities who might be hosting their own Safe Streets?
Alicia Lopez October 17, 2012 at 11:11 PM
thanks Jason for providing this information
MMHoraney October 27, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Shouldn't other cities and other community service clubs have picked up the opportunity and the challenge many years ago and sponsored their own "safe streets" programs in their own towns? Sadly, this situation reminds me of the same way many communities handle so-called "affordable housing" and other difficult but rewarding projects and programs: "Go over there. They're taking care of it." That's not how it's supposed to work.
Foster city Neighbor October 31, 2013 at 08:31 PM
I been living in neighborhood 6 for many years. I know many people in the neighborhood 6 are worry about how large the safe street has become. It seem like safe street have always been in neighborhood 6. I never knew why other neighborhood where not involved. Maybe because they do not want all the thousand of strangers coming into their neighborhood blocking their street all night long. It is just too big for a neighborhood to handle safely.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something