Commack residents protest proposed Halloween party by church

Residents in Commack are protesting a proposed Halloween party by a local church.

Residents in Commack are protesting a proposed Halloween party by a local church. (10/10/16)

COMMACK - Residents in Commack are protesting a proposed Halloween party by a local church.

It's been nearly a year since Church Unleashed hosted a Candyland-themed Halloween party on Shirley Court.

Neighbor Mary Catini says she can't forget the party. She describes it as chaos in the street.

"Last year, Halloween was crazy here," she says. "There was wall-to-wall cars, there were people everywhere. You couldn't go up and down the street. People were fighting. There was no parking."

The church advertised the event as fun and games for children. Neighbors say more than 1,400 people flooded their neighborhood, leaving trash everywhere. 

Pastor Todd Bishop denies the allegations and says they didn't observe any fights.

Bishop did admit that there were parking issues, but he said they tried to correct it as soon as they could.

When residents heard the church was planning to hold another Halloween party this year, they submitted a petition to the Smithtown Town Board to stop it. So far, the town board is withholding a permit for the church to hold another party based on the neighbor's complaints.

Bishop says that given the neighbors' opposition and the town board's reluctance to grant a permit, a smaller Halloween party will be held inside the church. He adds that the church wants to be good neighbors with residents.

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