Spirits were high as the 21st annual Andreas Halloween Parade kicked off Schuylkill County's parade season on Wednesday night. Despite the frigid temperatures, local residents gathered to cheer on parade members.

More than 30 units took part in the parade, marching and riding down Andreas Road in their Halloween finest.

Leading the parade was West Penn Township Police and the township's narcotics K-9 dog. The VFW No. 5069 Color Guard also led the procession.

Grand marshal for the parade was Bert Osenbach, a World War II veteran and a member of the VFW. Osenbach has marched with the Andreas parade for many years, and is a member of the West Penn Lions Club.

After the parade, judges tallied their votes for the top three winners in each category. The event featured two divisions, “float" and “marchers."

First place in the float division was awarded to Amelia, Benjamin and Jacob with their “Hansel and Gretel" float. St. Peter's Preschool in Mantzville won second place with the theme “The Wheels on the Bus." The preschoolers entertained the judges with a short rendition of their theme song. Third place went to Troop 1108 of West Penn with the theme “Daisy Donuts."

First place in the marching division was awarded to Brownie Troop 1296 of Tamaqua for their Girl Scouts “Cooking Good Things in Your Neighborhood" theme. Second place went to Cadette Troop 1203 with the theme “Girl Scouts and the 7 Dwarfs." Third place was awarded to Brownie Troop 1323 from St. Peter's Church in Mantzville with the theme “Hannah Montana Hoe-Down Throw-Down."

All other units received Honorable Mentions. They were: Tamaqua Area Raider Marching Band, led by Mr. John Potlunas; West Penn Fire Co. No 1; Penn Mahoning Ambulance Association; Hometown Fire Co.; Mahoning Valley Ambulance; East Penn Township Fire Co.; New England Fire Co.; Andreas Fire co.; Bowmanstown/Parryville Lions Club (Happy Halloween Lions and Friends); Local residents Dot, Kaleigh, Jacob and Logan; Carbon County Fair Royalty (Fair Queen and Court); Cadette Troup 30198 of Tamaqua (Dancing with the Scouts); Junior Troop 31298 of Tamaqua (Girl Scouts are Magical).

Also, Lehighton Brownie Troop 3224 (Around the World); Barnesville Cadette Troop 142 (Recycling Rocks); Lehighton Daisy Troop 3176 (The Daisy Garden); Delly Boerner's Family Day Care (Day Care Exploring Children's Future); Lehighton Junior Troop 31102 and Brownie Troop 3972 (Noah's Ark); Lehighton Brownie Troop 329 (Scouting is the Spark That Lights up our Lives); Tamaqua Brownie Troop 1297 (Brownie Girl Scouts Still Rockin' After All These Years); West Penn Cub Pack 756 (Pirates); 4-H cooking club (Cookin' Cowgirls); DJ Taz & Co (Rock Stars of the Past); Lehighton Brownie Troop 3862 (Girl Scouts into the Future); Lehighton Senior Girl Scout Troop 3583 (Miss Girl Scouts of USA); Lehighton Cadette Troop 3801 (Girl Scouts of Different Colors); Lehighton Junior Troop 3349 (Girl Scouts Gone Wild); Daniel Tyson (Ghostbuster car); Kovatch Mobile Police Car Demonstrator.

The parade is sponsored each year by the West Penn Lions and Lioness Club. Parade chairperson and coordinator was Lisa Sharpe. Judges for the night were Becky Neumoyer, Marie Gursky, and Lizanne McElwee. Master of Ceremonies was Sarah Trumbauer.

Parade committee members included Lisa Sharpe, Paul Barth, Melissa Kistler, Barbara Lushia, and Pat and Joe Bednarik.