‘Halloween Central’: Luala’i opens doors for trick-or-treaters but not cars

  • Luala’i Halloween festivities draw hundreds of children each year. (COURTESY PHOTO/LUALA’I)

WAIMEA — Luala’i, a subdivision near the center of Waimea, has unofficially become “Halloween Central” over the years since it was incorporated in 2003. The community’s low-traffic, well-lit streets and closely spaced houses are perfect for trick-or-treating youngsters and their parents looking for a convenient and safe place to enjoy Halloween.

Residents there support the big street party that Halloween has become, and want to see the tradition continue safely for years to come.

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However, the number of cars streaming through the neighborhood during peak Halloween hours, combined with hundreds of excited kids on the road, could end up in a witch’s “toxic brew” for the safety of pedestrians. At the 2018 annual Luala’i Homeowners Association (HOA) meeting, reports were heard of a number of “close calls” involving cars and pedestrians.

The HPD community policing officer, as well as other concerned Luala’i residents, suggested closing off the roads to the community for a limited amount of time Halloween night. The HOA board, having already considered this approach in previous years, needed little convincing to amp up the safety of that night for neighbors and visitors, and moved forward with the plan.

Consequently, Luala’i has been granted approval by the County for vehicular access to the subdivision that will be closed off between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Exceptions will be made for people displaying valid disability plates or parking placards in their cars. Alternative parking will be available along the Ala Ohia bypass road and next to Waimea Elementary and Middle School.

A comfort station will be in the main park at the intersection of Kaomoloa Road and Kaomoloa Place, sponsored by Calvary Hillside Church.

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“The comfort station serves as a safe place in case a child gets lost or needs to call their parents. It’s a plan-ahead-meet-up-spot, in case someone gets separated from the group,” Hillside Community Outreach Coordinator Carrie Davids said. “We hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, flashlights, waters, cocoa and coffee and make balloon animals. And we provide glow sticks so that children can be seen and be safe. Band-Aids and wet wipes are on hand in case someone gets a scrape or sticky candy hands. Three Porta-Potties are also brought in for the night in case the need arises.”

While the fun is on, Luala’i residents ask visitors to be responsible and take their trash out with them. The community’s HOA board members will solicit suggestions on improvements to the event for next year.