Northern Lehigh Halloween parade held a week late
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Melanie Heffelfinger, Carly Heffelfinger, Justyn Sandt, Maggie Pagotto, Trinity Haydt, Lexi Maehrer, Cameron Schmick, Marisa Maehrer and Jillian Schmick were waiting to collect candy in their plastic pumpkins.
The ghosts and pumpkins along the Halloween parade route in Slatington and Walnutport were getting a bit weather-beaten. After all, they had waited a week after the snowstorm that forced cancellation on Oct. 29 of the Northern Lehigh Halloween Parade.
Christ Church had a food stand set up in the side yard of the church and the Slatington Lions had their barbecue trailer open at the trailhead, but the children along the parade route had visions of the candy they would collect in their bags and plastic pumpkins.
Chairs were out already at 5:30 p.m. as people staked a claim to a good viewing site. The Lehigh River blackened as darkness descended adding to the eerie quality of the night.
Kids were told to "Look, it'll soon be coming," as police blocked the last traffic coming down Main Street in Slatington.
At the 6 p.m. starting time church bells rang and the level of excitement went up a notch.
A woman who just moved to the area said it was her first parade in 15 years and "we brought the grandbabies."
The waiting was at an end as police cars, the sheriff's car, a truck from American Legion Post 16 and their color guard, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 7215, and the Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce led the parade.
The Slatington Fire Department and Northern Valley ambulance followed. Although some marchers and floats dropped out with the week's delay, all fire departments who had registered showed up: Diamond Fire which also provided the lights for the judging in Walnutport, Laurys Station, Friedens, Bowmanstown, Lehigh Township, Tri-Clover, Palmerton, West End, Parryville, Star Hose of Emerald and Citizen's Fire Company of Slatedale.
Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus put in an early appearance with the Slatedale Fire Co.
What's a parade without music, and the Rajah Shiners Oriental Band and later the Northern Lehigh High School band provided the music.
Board games were represented by the Girl Scouts' Candyland, Cub Scouts Monopoly including Mr. Monopoly and the Lions checkerboard. The theme for the parade was Board Games Galore.
A hearse moved by at parade speed with some Scary Campers accompanying it to the grave site.
One person was asking where there was some hot chocolate as the night brought cooler weather following a perfect fall day.
Was it public bribery? People from some of the floats walked up to the judges' stand and gave them candy.
The Emerald Dragon Karate team performed for the judges as the younger members of the group sat on the curb. They were accompanied by a sumo wrestler.
Pack 58 with Cub Scouts in monkey masks said "Pack 58 is more fun than a barrel of monkeys."
A parade is always a good time to ask for votes and this one was no exception.
People headed home in anticipation of next year's Halloween Parade.