The last of Huntingdon County’s Halloween parades made its way through Mount Union Thursday night, a week after a severe weather threat forced organizers to postpone.
Despite rescheduling and rainy spells throughout the day, the parade boasted four marching bands, floats representing youth organizations and local businesses, as well as a fleet of local fire trucks and ambulances that turned out in support of the Mount Union Fire Co. which coordinated the event.
“The rain ended just in time for registration,” lead organizer Kyle Rhodes said, adding with temperatures hovering around the low 40s, it shaped up to be decent autumn night for a parade.
Rhodes acknowledged that turnout among spectators and participants was much lower than usual but noted the numbers weren’t unexpected given the change in date and wet conditions that endured throughout much of the day.
Considering the circumstances, Rhodes said he was pleased. The parade, ran about 50 minutes, from the time it moved until the last entry crossed the finish line.
Radio personality Jeff Speck served as emcee. Rex and Mary Secrest, along with daughter Raquel Ernest, returned as judges.
Captain Jack FFA took top honors in the floats categories with their pirate themed “Treasure the Opportunities” entry. Second place when to the “Boo Crew” from the County Line Bar & Grill and the Salvation Army earned third place with their “Sailing to Christ” display.
The judges also awarded prizes in the following categories:
Groups: first place, train and conductor (Glenn Shore, Amanda Shore and Kingston Berkheimer); second place, necromancer and trapped soul (April Bowling and Tim Barnett).
Individual mummers: first place, claw machine (Keelyn McConaughey), second place, horse (Jessica Dimoff Querry), third place, “Hello Neighbor” (Jared Heintz); four place, Pennywise (Dakota Crane); fifth place, Chuckie (Jared Hatch).
Spectators enjoyed performances by four marching bands representing Mount Union Area, Southern Huntingdon County, Juniata Valley and McConnellsburg high schools.
Newton-Wayne, Mapleton, Mill Creek and Huntingdon Regional fire companies joined in, along with Orbisonia-Rockhill EMS.
Rhodes expressed thanks to everyone who chipped in, from those who marched or rolled along the route to those working behind the scenes, especially his fellow fire company members.
“I thank all the members of the Mount Union Co. It truly is a team effort,” he said.
The Mount Union Police Department and Huntingdon County Sheriff’s Department provided traffic control along the route which started at Mount Union Area High School and concluded in the vicinity of Shirley and Park streets.
Rhodes extended special recognition to longtime parade volunteers Helen and Zeke Cohenour and Kate Hughes who registered participants and helped with line up. He said after 18 years, the Cohenours announced they are retiring from parade duties.
The rain did disrupt the annual pet parade which takes place in the afternoon ahead of the evening spectacle.
“It was just too wet and too cold for the little paws,” pet parade coordinator Tonya Brumbaugh said.
This year’s parade was to serve not only as the usual showcase for costumes and pets, but also a supply drive for the Huntingdon County Humane Society.
Brumbaugh said although the weather didn’t cooperate, the Mount Union community still stepped up with supplies for the animal shelter.
Kayleigh Boozel, a fifth grader at Shirley Township Elementary School, who organized the supply drive with her grandmother, Margie Drake, delivered donations to the society Thursday.
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