If there was ever a perfect night for a parade, Monday night may have been it, as temperatures hovered in the low 60s and skies were clear for the Huntingdon Area Halloween Parade.
“The weather was perfect,” said parade committee chair Jesse Morgan. “We couldn’t have asked for a better night.”
Crowds filled both sides of Washington Street, with little room to spare, to watch the festivities, which lasted about one hour and 15 minutes.
“We had a total of 51 floats,” said Morgan.
The large number of participants resulted in a tough decision for judges Candice Hersh, Rob Yelnosky, Joan Cassatt, Fred Hess and Perry Keller.
Prizes were awarded in two float categories this year — businesses and nonprofits.
In the business category, first place went to AristaCare for their Candyland theme, while the Blue Juniata VFW of Mount Union placed second with its creepy clown theme. Third place went to Weaver the Florist. Businesses received plaques for their efforts.
In the nonprofit category, first place went to the Huntingdon Community Center Gainers competitive gymnastics team for their movie theme float. Second place went to the Elks Lodge 976 of Huntingdon for their Beetle Juice theme and third place went to the STEAM group from Huntingdon Area Middle School for their Alice in Wonderland theme. The nonprofit winners received cash prizes for their efforts.
“We were very pleased with participation this year,” said Morgan. “We had some new participants, such as the Altoona Curve, Penn Highlands Huntingdon and some others. The area’s youth was really showcased.”
Among the floats, peewee football players, Juniata College athletes and marching bands from Huntingdon Area, Mount Union, Juniata Valley and Southern Huntingdon County high schools, were mummers.
Sponsored by Huntingdon Regional Fire & Rescue and the Moose Lodge, the parade wouldn’t be possible without the help of many volunteers and sponsors.
“Thank you to the Moose, the parade committee, parade marshal Dixie Myers and The Daily News,” said Morgan.
Parade committee member Jim Bair shared Morgan’s sentiments, also thanking HRFR and the Moose for all of their hard work, was well as Myers for all he does for the borough.
“I also want to thank Huntingdon Borough for all they do to help put this on, and well as Allensville Planing Mill for providing the flatbed truck to use as a reviewing stand for the judges and Joe Murgo of WTAJ-TV 10 for his participation,” he said.
Both Morgan and Bair thanked the event’s sponsors, including: Huntingdon Moose Lodge 223, the Law offices of Roberta Binder Heath, SPEC Federal Credit Union, Community State Bank of Orbisonia, Park’s Garbage Service, Strickler’s, Juniata College, Apex Realty Group, the J. Melvin and Beulah Isett Community Foundation, Team Chevrolet Buick GMC, OIP Route 22, OIP in downtown Huntingdon, Bumgardner & Flasher Oil, Standing Stone VFW Post 1754, Blue White Snacks, WCS Signs, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Walmart, Weis Markets and Giant Foods.
Halloween festivities will continue in the county Wednesday, Oct. 23, as the Mapleton parade steps off at 7 p.m. Line-up starts at 6:30 p.m. at Weaver’s Corner, located at West Main and Callowhill streets. The reviewing stand will be next to the fire hall.
The procession will take its loop through town, along Main, Hill, Reservoir and Church streets, then back onto Main Street where it will conclude at the fire hall where prizes will be awarded and cookies and cider will be served.
Becky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.