ELKTON — The town’s annual Halloween parade on Friday, Oct. 25, has returned just in time to inspire some seasonal fear — but mostly cheer — in participants and spectators of all ages with costumes and floats abound.
Line-up for the parade will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the actual parade starting at 7 p.m. In the hours leading up to the parade, starting at 5:15 p.m., live entertainment will be provided by puppeteer Jack Foreaker, Bobbie Ann’s Dance Studio, and Box Turtle Bob.
Jessica Price, executive director of the Elkton Chamber & Alliance, said that although other events that the organization holds throughout the year are family-friendly, including the annual Fall Fest, the parade is specifically planned around the county’s youngest residents.
“It’s a great family event,” she said. “It’s mostly children involved. We do get some adults, but it’s just nice to have an event geared towards children and families.”
As of Oct. 11, more than 70 people had registered to participate in the parade. But Price said most people sign up in the week leading up to the event, and the parade typically attracts 500 to 700 participants.
To sign up to participate in the parade, people can fill out a registration form at elktonalliance.org or on the Elkton Chamber & Alliance’s Facebook page. People can also call the office at 410-398-5076.
Previously Roger Owens, former vice chairman of the Elkton Chamber & Alliance board, served as the chair of the parade. This year, Owens passed the baton to Susie and Anna Smith of Bobbie Ann’s Dance Studio, according to Price.
New this year, judging will take place before the parade as it was difficult for the judges to see many of the participants during past events due to the sheer amount of people, Price said.
Also new this year, Price said throwing candy to spectators will not be allowed due to safety concerns of children running into the street during the parade to collect pieces of candy. Instead, there will be a trick-or-treat portion after the parade where Main Street businesses will be passing out candy to young ghosts, ghouls, goblins and other attendees.
Price said some of her favorite costumes in previous years have been an arcade claw machine and a Transformer robot that turned into a car when the child lay on the ground.
“There is a lot of creativity in our town, that’s for sure” she said
Organizers will award cash prizes, trophies and ribbons to the best costumes and performers. The individual age categories will include infant to 2 years old, 3 to 4, 4 to 6, 7 to 9, 10 to 12, and 13 to adult. There will also be categories for couples/duos, small groups/families (three to 10 people), larger groups (over 10 people), pets, floats, and bands/other performers, according to Price.
Price said people should come out to take part in the Halloween festivities leading up to the actual holiday, and enjoy the local performances that will be part of the event.
“The performances, I think, are usually the best part about it,” she said. “We’ve been lucky that we’ve had some great local talent that have joined in.”