Halloween parades are to begin this week

October 22, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

It's hard to say what famous and infamous figures will show up at upcoming Halloween parades in the region.

After all, Dracula is a busy guy.

But the vampire count could show, as might mummies, ghosts, X-Men, Superman and Dora the Explorer.

That's because a highlight of these local parades which begin this weekend is children marching in costume.

In Hancock, the tradition began in the 1940s as "an attempt to keep ornery kids off the street," Mayor Dan Murphy says. Murphy is serving his 27th year as parade chairman.

In the parade's first year, it consisted just of kids, Murphy says. The next year, band director Harvey Gardner brought the Hedgesville High School marching band from West Virginia. After that year, Gardner moved to Washington County Public Schools and brought the E. Russell Hicks Middle School band to the Hancock parade.


That rich tradition of costumed kids marching in the parade has waned in recent years, but Murphy says they, as well as their entire families, are welcome to participate. Just show up at Widmeyer Park at 7 p.m. to be ready for the 7:30 start.

Children in costume is the main feature of Funkstown's parade, says Assistant Mayor Paul Crampton Jr. Children from kindergarten through fifth grade are welcome to dress up in costume and march.

Some groups use these local parades to warm up for the Alsatia Club's Mummers Parade, which will be Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information about the Mummers Parade, check out Loop in Thursday's editions of The Morning Herald and The Daily Mail.

Halloween parades

59th annual Hancock Halloween Parade sponsored by the Hancock Rotary Club

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25. Lasts about an hour. Rain date is Thursday, Oct. 26.

ROUTE: Begins at Widmeyer Park and goes east on Main Street to the Park-N-Dine.

FEATURES: Seven marching bands expected, including those from Hancock Middle-Senior High School, Southern Fulton High School and Clear Spring High School; majorette and drum corps teams; floats; several antique and classic automobiles; local fire and rescue company vehicles; Forty & Eight steam engine on wheels; and the Hancock High School homecoming queen. Costumed walkers, floats, cars and drill teams will be judged.

Funkstown Halloween Parade sponsored by the Town of Funkstown and Funkstown American Legion Post 211

WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. Lasts about 15 to 20 minutes.

ROUTE: Starts at the corner of High and Baltimore streets and heads down Baltimore Street to the Funkstown American Legion parking lot.

FEATURES: Town children marching in costume, firetrucks, Civil War re-enactors, a couple of antique cars, AMVETS honor guard, and South Hagerstown High School and E. Russell Hicks Middle School marching bands. The American Red Cross' blood hound mascot also will march in the parade, handing out fliers to encourage people to attend a blood drive at the American Legion from 1 to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30.

The parade is followed by a Halloween party at the American Legion for students from Funkstown and Emma K. Doub elementary schools. The legion will judge costumes.

Greencastle (Pa.) Halloween Parade sponsored by Greencastle Exchange Club

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27. Lasts about 45 minutes.

ROUTE: Starts at Jerome King Playground on South Carlisle Street and goes up to Town Square; east on Baltimore Street; north on North Allison Street; and west on Walters Avenue, ending at the playground.

FEATURES: Children and adults parading in costumes, floats, and Greencastle-Antrim High School and Greencastle-Antrim Middle School marching bands.

Judging will be held for individuals, groups of two to 10 walking in the parade, groups of 11 or more walking in the parade, and floats.

64th annual Mercersburg (Pa.) Halloween Parade sponsored by the Mercersburg Lions Club, Mercersburg VFW and Mercersburg Moose Lodge

WHEN: 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30. Lasts about 90 minutes to two hours.

ROUTE: Starts at Mercersburg post office and goes through Town Square down Main Street, through downtown.

FEATURES: Mason-Dixon Corvette Club, floats, and local high school marching bands and children marching in costume.

This year's grand marshals will be veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

MORE: Step By Step Dance Studio will perform ballet at Town Square at 7 p.m.

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