The Halloween at the Glenwood event, an annual ghoulish gathering at the Glenwood Cemetery, has been canceled this year, leaving Parkites without one of their favorite Halloween happenings.
The group that oversees the cemetery said the popularity overwhelmed the Glenwood in recent years and there are lingering concerns about holding a festive event in the months after the tragic death of a youngster after an accident inside the cemetery.
Halloween at the Glenwood had been held the Sunday before Halloween for at least a decade. The Glenwood Cemetery Association and the Park City Museum have partnered to organize the event.
Bruce Erickson, the president of the Glenwood Cemetery Association, said as the event grew in popularity hundreds of people would descend on the grounds. He said approximately 800 people attended in recent years. Some of the people needed to wait up to 40 minutes to enter the cemetery, he said. It took them another 30 to 40 minutes to walk the grounds, Erickson said.
The Halloween at the Glenwood featured actors dressed in period costumes telling the stories of people buried there. Erickson said there were approximately 12 actors who took part. People would spend three to five minutes at each stop.
"It's taking too long to get through the cemetery," he said.
Erickson said the cemetery association determined to cancel the 2012 edition in August. The decision did not receive publicity at the time, though. It would have been scheduled on Oct. 28.
The decision was made the month after the youngster died in an accident. A 4-year-old boy from Lehi was visiting the cemetery with his family when a headstone fell on him. He died at the Park City Medical Center.
The cemetery association closed the grounds for more than a month after the death as the group considered safety measures. The cemetery, located on the edge of Thaynes Canyon, dates to 1885. There are approximately 900 graves. Many of them are historic. The Park City Museum once told The Park Record the people buried at the Glenwood were everyday Parkites of their era.
When the grounds reopened, the cemetery association posted signs requesting people stay on footpaths and asking them not to touch the headstones. Erickson said other measures remain under consideration to make the cemetery a safer place to visit.
The tragedy at the Glenwood Cemetery, meanwhile, prompted City Hall to canvass the Park City Cemetery on Kearns Boulevard looking for headstones that could pose a danger. A monument company was hired to reinforce approximately 50 headstones that were of concern.
Erickson said he hopes Halloween at the Glenwood returns in 2013. He did not provide details about the factors that will be involved in that decision.
"I like being able to tell the story with the Glenwood and the museum. I feel we are doing everything we can do to continue it," he said.