“It’s 2:10, they should be starting,” an impatient eight-year-old said while waiting for the annual Allentown Halloween Parade to start. While the parade did begin a little late, many locals to the Lehigh Valley had already gathered around the parade route to watch various community organizations and business participate in the fun.

Special events coordinator for the city of Allentown and planner of the Halloween Parade Christy Alvord gave some background information about the parade. “The Allentown Halloween Parade first began in 1905,” Alvord said. “It is believed to be one of the oldest Halloween Parades in the country. I began coordinating the parade in 2012. I can’t speak to the parade before then, but we have seen a steady increase in number of participants from year to year.”

Alvord also gave some insight as to how this year’s theme was chosen.

“We asked some of our community partners and regular participants for feedback on possible theme ideas, and this year’s theme, ‘Storybook Favorites,’ was one of them.”

We definitely saw a terrific response from the participating groups in embracing and adhering to the theme this year, from Cat in the Hat to Winnie the Pooh to Sneetches to My Little Ponies.”

Most importantly, Alvord emphasized the importance of how this parade impacts the Allentown community as a whole, saying,

“I think the parade is a point of pride and celebration for Allentown.”

Many of the community groups who participate look forward to the theme and to being creative each year and figuring out how to best entertain their participants and the crowd and showcase their organization or business. It’s nice to see all the spectators come out and show pride in their city.”

Starting at the Allentown Fairgrounds, the parade was led by the Court of Honor and Allentown Police Officers. The entries to follow definitely showcased their pride in Allentown. Following shortly at the beginning of the parade were local Girl Scouts Melany, Oriana, Kara, Lydia and Sofia, all of whom seemed very excited to be a part of the parade. For their first time participating in the Halloween parade, Melany said, “We’re going to be handing out pencils and giving them to kids.”

Raquel Lopez, one of the group’s leaders, said, “We’re going to be promoting their recycling, because they work and recycle for Allentown.”

The Girl Scouts did a good job in the parade, especially considering they received second place for the ‘marchers’ category of the parade competition.

Along with the Girl Scouts, various other marchers and floats were featured in the parade. Several marching bands from local schools and adult organizations played Halloween favorites such as “Thriller” and “Ghostbusters,” while other marchers got into the spirit with kooky costumes. The first place winners of the “marchers” category were the Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs of the LV, with their legion of dogs dressed up in crazy colorful outfits. In first place for the “floats” was Kory Ravenold Productions, which created a float that featured live performers dancing and singing for the crowds.

Spectators of the parade had just as much fun as those who marched. Watchers Anaya and Ean, along with their mother, Tiffany Bryant, were at the parade for the first time. They all agreed that this was a great event for the whole community to be a part of; their only qualm was, “We wish we could see more goblins! We can’t wait to see the costumes. This is a really nice event.” Our interview was cut short at the sight of another float passing out candy.

Overall, the annual Allentown Halloween Parade was a great way for members of the community to get in the spirit of Halloween and, most importantly, of course, partake in the sharing of free candy.


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