Have any Halloween weekend plans? Join tens of thousands that gather in downtown Meadville to for the Annual Halloween Parade this Saturday, October 29.
Sponsored by Annual Crawford Area Young Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Meadville Chamber of Commerce, the parade is celebrating its 45th year with the theme “Through the Ages.”
Called the largest nighttime parade in Pennsylvania, this parade attracts about 25,000 spectators, lining the streets of Meadville to sneak a peak at over a hundred entries and floats.
“People come from all over. We get participants and spectators from all over Crawford, Erie, and Ohio. They see our buinesses, what Meadville has to offer,” said Halloween Parade Chair, Meghan Cressman.
Cressman said over 140 entries, from local pageant organizations to motorcycle clubs, have registered so far for the parade. Competition for best float is steep, including youth, for-profit, non-profit, and overall categories.
Last year, Wesbury Retirement Community took home the prize for overall under last year’s “Treasure Island” theme.
“Wesbury’s float was modeled after the Black Pearl pirate ship. It had a cannon that fired off, Captain Jack Sparrow, and other characters from the ‘pirates’ films,” said Andy Clawson, Director of Communications at Wesbury.
“We even had our small ‘train’ we use at our chicken BBQ. It was pulled by a tractor, made into tiny pirate ships, and kids rode in those.”
Unique themes and the possibility of an award each year encourages float builder volunteers to go over the top year after year.
“It just shows a lot of hard work, time and energy pays off, and gives those that volunteer the incentive to go bigger and better the next year.”
“You never know what you’re going to see. The reason we have a theme is to keep it new and fresh each year,” said Cressman.
This year, the CAYCC is establishing a two-block “siren free zone” where families that may be sensitive to loud noises can appreciate the parade without starling siren sounds. Families can sit in between the corner North and Market St. to Market and Walnut St.
The parade goes on regardless of rain; dress for the weather. If rain holds off, Clown City Clowns will circulate the crowds starting at 5 p.m.
Parade line up starts at 4:00 p.m. and needs to be in place by 4:30 p.m. To be considered for float competition judging, floats need to be ready by 5 p.m.
The parade starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.meadvillehalloweenparade.com.