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Mount Rose Cemetery cancels trick-or-treat event after receiving pressure from families

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Mount Rose Cemetery is shown in Spring Garden Township, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

A York County cemetery canceled its trick-or-treat event after families said it would be disrespectful to host it.

Mount Rose Cemetery's drive-thru event planned for Halloween night was canceled Tuesday after the cemetery received an outpouring of "mixed reviews."

"Due to the amount of mixed reviews we will be cancelling the event planned for Saturday," the cemetery announced in a Facebook post. "We apologize to those who have planned to attend this event, however, the safety of our staff and visitors remains first and foremost."

The event was initially planned as a drive-thru event for kids and their families to receive candy at different decorated stops throughout the cemetery.

The event garnered the attention of angry residents like Amanda Lesh, who said it wasn't appropriate for the Spring Garden Township cemetery to host an event like this.

Mount Rose Cemetery is shown in Spring Garden Township, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

"It's not a place for entertainment; it's a place for grieving families to go and pay respects for their loved ones," the Newberry Township resident said. "They're taking something that is very hurtful and turning it into something fun."

Lesh, whose her son, Tobias, and grandparents, Betty and Paul Hays, are buried at Mount Rose Cemetery, said when she first heard about the event she was "disgusted" and called to have it canceled.

Amy Cincibus, general manager of Mount Rose Cemetery, located at 1502 Mount Rose Ave., said that the event was planned as a positive community event for York County.

"While many events have been canceled, we wanted to provide a safe and fun way to provide some normalcy to families with a 'touch free' trick-or-treat event," Cincibus said via email.

More:'Not an amusement park': Mount Rose Cemetery trick-or-treat event angers families

Despite Lesh's disdain for the event, East Manchester Township resident Amy Anderson praised it as a "wonderfully creative idea."

"I have several relatives buried there, and I know they would love to hear kids laughing and screaming in delight during this event," Anderson said, who has a great-grandparents, Edwin and Margaret Grim, and a great-aunt and uncle, Stewart and Mildred Black, buried there.

Citing that a cemetery is eerie and spooky, Anderson said this event would be the perfect way to allow kids to participate in a Halloween event while being safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.