More than just a parade

Annual Palmyra Halloween Parade includes fundraisers, contests and more.

In 1926, the Palmyra Halloween Parade was founded in an attempt to minimize mischief night. Since then, the parade has been on and off. It was brought back in full force in 2012 after being cancelled the year before, and has been a hit ever since.

The parade has been around for decades, but is a little different every year. The house decorating contest hasn’t been around for nearly as long as the parade has, and this year the planning committee held a masquerade-themed fundraiser at Curran’s Irish Inn on Oct. 15. The committee tries to change things up every year to keep the parade fun and exciting.

“This year, we are trying to set up to feature bands in the parade, at the end of the parade,” planning committee president Gina Tait said. “We haven’t pinned all of it down yet but are working very had to make it a great experience for everyone.”

The committee has been working tirelessly this year to make the parade as extravagant and exciting as the committee members know it can be. The volunteers who make up the committee have been spending their time searching for sponsors, fostering float ideas and encouraging community members to register to participate.

As the parade’s slogan, “more than just a parade,” says, there is a lot more that goes into the event than just the parade itself.

This year, a community house decorating contest will be judged in the evenings of Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, with registration ending on Oct. 26. First-, second- and third-place winners will all win a cash prize. Winners of the contest will be announced after the parade at Legion Field.

The parade has also joined forces with the Palmyra Parent-Teacher Association to decorate the windows of local businesses with a poster contest that doubles as the parade’s biggest form of advertising. Kids can let their inner artist shine through by making their own poster and entering the competition. Winners for this contest will be announced at the PTA Halloween festivities.

The final contest this year will be a costume contest that will take place on the day of the parade. Awards that will be given include scariest costume, most original costume, funniest costume, best movie costume and many more. Prizes for the costume contest range from gift certificates to cash prizes.

Those interested in helping with the tradition can sponsor, donate or volunteer.

“We are always looking for volunteers that want to help to find new sources for donation and putting together the beginning and the end of the parade,” Tait said.

The parade recognizes businesses that chose to sponsor the event both on the website and at the event itself. Residents are also encouraged to donate to the parade, as it is a 501© charitable organization.

“The committee believes that the town of Palmyra is a great town to raise our children and are trying to get as many people involved as possible,” Tait said. “This parade takes a lot of people to put on, and I would like to thank the committee for all its hard work and dedication.”