An estimated 8,000 spectators lined the main streets of Tamaqua as over 75 organizations, consisting of about 1,750 participants, paraded down Broad Street during last night's 47th Annual Halloween Parade.

The parade, which lasted just over an hour and a half, is hosted and organized every year by the Tamaqua Lion's Club and Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce.

"The parade serves as a great way to bring the businesses, organizations and people of Tamaqua together for an evening of fun and candy," said parade chairman and Tamaqua Lions Club President Brian Keich.

He added that the parade was also held in honor of late Tamaqua Councilman Ken Smulligan, who regularly volunteered his time with the Tamaqua train station and numerous community-related activities. His wife Gloria served as the parade's grand marshal.

"The weather was perfect," said Linda Yulanavage, executive director, Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce. "This parade was probably one of the largest we ever had. Everyone put so much effort into their themes and floats."

This year's parade had an extended route, which stretched through a section of Dutch Hill, and was a little longer due to the current bridge work on US209, East Broad Street.

Spectators could be seen five rows deep at each corner of the Five Points intersection, a popular spot for candy.

Best marching groups included third-place winner, Tamaqua Knee High Cheerleaders; second-place winners, Hometown Fire Company; and first-place winner, Tamaqua Raider Marching Band.

Placing top in the float category were third-place winners, Ruch Excavating; second-place winner, West Penn Girl Scouts; and first-place winner, No. 9 Mine Mine and Museum.

Best of Show were Tamaqua Animal Rescue, which placed first; Owl Creek Reservoir, which placed second; and U8 Soccer Team, which placed first.

"The Tamaqua Lions Club really works hard to make this a great event for the community," said Tamaqua resident Tom Wertman.

"It is very heartwarming to see the community and its youth come together every year," said Jack Kulp, who served as master of ceremonies. "It gets better and better every year."

Keich expressed his appreciations to the volunteers, parade judges, Tamaqua Chamber, Kulp, Tamaqua Elks Lodge, Tamaqua police, fire department, fire police and the Tamaqua Wireless Association, for supporting the parade every year.