By JB Clark
TUPELO – A good chance of Halloween thunderstorms may force many of Thursday night’s Halloween and fall festivals inside.
The National Weather Service is predicting a 70 percent chance of rain with thunderstorms likely for Thursday evening.
Jeff Snyder, general manager of The Mall at Barnes Crossing, said he expects a big crowd trick-or-treating at the mall because of the weather forecast.
“We’ll have trick-or-treating from 6 to 8 p.m. and then magic shows in the food court at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.,” he said.
Participating stores and mall staff will have candy for trick-or-treaters.
Kristen Partin, Downtown Tupelo Trunk or Treat organizer and older children’s coordinator at Tupelo First United Methodist Church, said they will check the weather Thursday morning and cancel in the event of severe storms but proceed with the festival if only rain is predicted. Several churches are participating in the event, in which a section of Jefferson Street will be blocked off to traffic.
First Baptist Tupelo’s Fall Festival at Robins Field has been moved indoors at the church on Jefferson Street from 5 until 8 p.m.
Plantersville will host a trunk-or-treat event at Plantersville Town Hall and in the event of bad weather, the festivities will be moved into the Plantersville Fire Department next door.
In Southeast Lee County, Richmond Baptist Church will host a trunk-or-treat event that will move into the church’s gym in the event of severe weather.
For those braving the potentially bad weather, Tupelo’s official times for city-wide trick-or-treating will be from 5 until 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
In Saltillo, Police Chief Grant Bailey said officers will be posted at the entrance of Wesson Heights to keep non-resident cars from entering the neighborhood.
“It’s just a safety precaution to make sure there isn’t traffic in the neighborhood while the kids are trick-or-treating,” Bailey said. “They can park and walk to the neighborhood.”