A prosperous organization known for its civic-mindedness has been tabbed to lead this year's Palmerton Halloween Parade.

A pillar in the community for several decades, the Horsehead Community Development Fund, Inc., has been chosen as grand marshal of the 20th annual event.

Sponsored by the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce, the parade will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16. The rain date is Monday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.

Bill Smelas, executive consultant for the HCDF, said the company was "happy to participate."

"It's nice the company will have some recognition for the funds we've donated over the years," Smelas said. "The parade is an activity we certainly encourage in the community."

Incorporated in 1989, the HCDF was formed as a means to give back to the communities that are home to its employer.

The company awarded its first grant in May of 1990. Since then, it has donated over $3 million in funds, Smelas said.

Among the organizations the HCDF supports are local youth group organizations, fire companies, libraries, the Palmerton Memorial Park, Concerts in the Palmerton Borough Park, the Palmerton Area Historical Society, and Palmerton Concourse Club projects.

To have the HCDF serve as grand marshal is a real coup, according to Susie Arner, parade chairperson.

"The committee for the parade made this choice for grand marshal based on what Horsehead Corp and the Community Development Fund Committee has done for Palmerton and the surrounding areas," Arner said. "This community has prospered and seen major improvements through the actions of this group and their support of many undertakings to improve our lovely town."

Arner predicted the parade will be "a great event as usual."

She said many local groups will participate, such as girl scouts, boy scouts, Cub Scouts, booster club and others. There will also be businesses, fire trucks, ambulances, and emergency personnel, along with the local United Veterans who will serve as the color guard to lead the parade, Arner said.

The parade will form at 2:30 p.m. There will be no parking along the parade route in the 600 and 700 block of Franklin Avenue, and from Seventh Street from Delaware to Franklin.

It will start at Seventh Street and Delaware Avenue, where it will go up Delaware to Third Street, and then turn left onto Franklin. It will continue to Second Street, and turn right on Second Street to Lafayette Avenue, where it will turn right and continue to Seventh Street, where it will disband.

Residents are reminded there is no parking along the parade route, as well as the 800 blocks of Franklin and Lafayette Avenue the day of the parade.

Arner said parents need to keep their children at the curb to receive candy so that they don't run out into the street to pick it up. Also, children are not to ride bicycles in the street during the parade, she said.

Any person or group who would like to participate in the parade should contact Arner at 610-826-7515 to request a registration form and leave their mailing address. Registration will be accepted until Oct. 15, and there is no fee to register.

The parade committee is always in need of volunteers to assist with traffic control, registration, street closings and other jobs, Arner said.