Beggar’s Night in Highland County is set to be held Oct. 26 from 6-8 p.m. this year, and a county-wide curfew for anyone under 18 years old to will begin Sunday, Oct. 1 and run through Oct. 31.
A memo sent out Friday by Highland County juvenile court judge Kevin Greer requires everyone under 18 years old to be off the streets and in their homes by 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and by midnight Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of October.
The curfew does not apply to children accompanied by parents, legal guardians or custodians, or juveniles attending church, school or employment activities.
As he has in previous years, Greer suggested Hillsboro and villages around the county set their beggar’s night for Oct. 26.
“Noting the court has no authority to set beggar’s night, it is suggested each jurisdiction set beggar’s night on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 6-8 p.m. as a convenience to law enforcement agencies,” Greer said in the memo.
The City of Hillsboro announced Friday it will hold Beggar’s Night at that time, and a spokesperson for the Village of Greenfield told The Times-Gazette the village would likely do the same.
Highland County has had a uniform date for beggar’s night ever since former Highland County Juvenile Court Judge Richard Davis set the precedent as a convenience for local law enforcement.
Davis told The Times-Gazette in an interview several years ago that the curfew goes back at least to the late 1950s, when his predecessor Orland Roades was in office.
According to Davis, when Roades was on the bench, he simply issued an order establishing a county-wide curfew around the time of Halloween, but when Davis took office in 1965, he said he found there was no regular procedure in place to issue such an order.
So, he drafted an ordinance that allowed the juvenile judge to set a uniform curfew.
Before that, the various cities and villages in the county had all kinds of different curfews, which often led to confusion.
Greer previously told The Times-Gazette he’s not sure where the idea of an October curfew originated, but he assumes it started as a way to keep kids from pulling pranks like soaping windows.
He said he does not see an increase in juvenile offenses in October.
Actually, Greer said, most villages and the one city in the county have juvenile curfews that are in efffect all year.
“What this does is enforce it out in the county as well,” Greer said.
In Hillsboro, there is a year-round curfew that requires juveniles to be off the street by midnight, unless they’re going to or from church, school or employment, or they’re with a parent or guardian.
Halloween falls on Tuesday, Oct. 31 this year.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.