Officials in Oak Park have reversed their decision to ban clowns from their annual Boo Bash event.

Recreation director for the city Laurie Stasiak tells the Oakland County Times the original decision to ban clowns from the event stemmed from people's phobias and anxieties toward clowns.

“This event is centered around young children,” Stasiak said. "In the past few years, many clown costumes have been given a very scary and evil look. Many scary and horror movies are centered around these types of characters. About 3 years (ago) there were national incidents in the news (where) people were dressing up as clowns and scaring people, and in some cases assaulting them. Many people have phobias and anxiety about clowns. It’s because of this that we asked people not to dress up as clowns for this community event."

After a backlash from residents, Stasiak said clowns are now welcome at the event, but families are encouraged to use caution when exposing young children to clowns.