Princesses, flower children and adorable buzzing bees banished the dark, damp chill of oncoming winter with Lehighton's 39th Annual Halloween Parade Saturday.
Instead of cold rain, candy hit the streets. Instead of gloomy skies, dozens of bright lights flashed on a string of fire trucks and ambulances, and instead of howling winds, music, cheers and laughter echoed through the streets.
Although the line-up was shorter than expected due to dreary weather forecasts, crowds lined the streets in anticipation.
The judges – Judy Ardella, Carbon County Judge David W. Addy, Martha Cox and Ron Connor – had a tough time picking the winners.
The prize-winners included Zion United Church of Christ's Mission Outreach & Friends “The Eternal Catch;" the Lehighton Booster Club's float; St. Matthew's Pre-School float; the Lehighton Pool Pals walking group and Wentz & Nash racing cars.
Grand marshal was retired teacher and football coach James Wentz, who rode in the parade accompanied by Shirley, his wife of 55 years. Former Lehighton High School teacher Ray Koons was master of ceremonies.
Mother Nature cooperated, the rain that fell most of the day stopping just long enough for the parade to follow its blocks-long march. The participants also included local fire and ambulance crews; church groups, bands, scout troops, day care centers, dance schools, the Lehighton Area School District marching band and cheerleaders and local businesses.
The weather also cut short by about 15 the numbers of groups participating, said Hilbert Haas of the parade committee.
The parade committee was composed of Julie Harris, Larry Markley, Haas, Scott Rehrig, Delroy Ruch, Judy Harris and Charles Harris.