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Greencastle Halloween parade searches for sponsor

September 08, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - A 37-year-old Greencastle tradition, the annual Halloween parade, may not be held this year unless some local organization steps forward to take it over.

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A disagreement between the local VFW club and the Greencastle Mayor and Borough Council over the time of the parade and its route arose last month and was not resolved Tuesday night when the two groups met.

Dale Sheller, parade chairman for the VFW, said the veterans organization decided to drop its sponsorship after nearly 4 decades because it could not accept the council's insistence that the date and route be changed.

Historically the two-hour parade - consisting mostly of local youngsters in costumes and floats entered by local organizations, threaded its way through the square and back on a 2-mile-plus trek through the borough, beginning at 7 p.m. on the Friday night before Halloween.

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The marchers and floats vied for $1,000 in prizes the VFW put up each year. The judges stood in the square as the marchers passed through.

Greencastle Mayor Frank Mowen said the parade ties up traffic through the square, where Pa. 16 and Carlisle Street intersect.

"Friday night is our biggest traffic night," he said.

The council's safety committee, made up of Mowen, Borough Police Chief Terry Sanders and several council members, recommended to the full council Tuesday that the parade be held at 2 p.m. on the Saturday before Halloween along the original route. The council approved the recommendation.

"We had no agreement, so we bowed out. That's basically it," Sheller said. "We told the council to find another sponsor, and that if they did it would be all right with us, that we wouldn't be upset."

Mowen said he is confident a new group or organization will step forward to sponsor the parade, even with the new day and time approved by the council.

"Hopefully, someone will take over," he said.

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