Lack of help may signal end to the Halloween parade
Could it be the end of an era for Northern Lehigh's storied Halloween Parade?
It very well might be if more volunteers don't come forward to help with this year's 105th annual event, which has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 27.
While the Greater Northern Lehigh Halloween Parade has yet to be officially canceled, Laura Stauffer, committee chair, Northern Lehigh Events Committee Inc, said there is a "strong chance" it could.
"It is not a hundred percent (that it will be canceled)," Stauffer said. "(Not) if I have an outpouring over the next few days of people coming out (to help)."
If the tradition-rich event is canceled, Stauffer said it would be due to a lack of community involvement.
"At this point, with four people, there is no way to have the parade," she said. "I can't do it with myself, my husband, my vice president, and one or two other volunteers."
Stauffer said the task has become even more difficult over time for the nonprofit incorporated organization, as fewer people volunteer their time and services.
"I can't line up 50, 60 floats," she said. "I've asked for help in the past; the community wants the parade, I understand that, but there's just no help."
On top of that, Stauffer said she needs to apply for approval from the state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to close a portion of State Route 873.
"Last year, it became harder to get approvals for the parade, because from the start of the parade to Walnut and Main is a state highway, and we need PennDOT approval," she said. "I'm not going to ask PennDOT to close it when it doesn't look like we'll have it."
The parade starts in Slatington, goes down Main Street, and then goes through Walnutport, where it ends at the Walnutport Playground on Lincoln Avenue.
Ironically, Stauffer said funding isn't an issue, as the committee has prize money left over from last year's event.
"It's not that I don't want to have it; we're just at the point where nobody steps up to help," she said. "I'm looking for it to be a safe event; right now, it's not."
Stauffer said a final decision "could be made within the next few weeks."
In the meantime, she said a volunteer meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Miracolo Bella Hair & Wellness Spa, 121 N. Best Ave., Walnutport, which is located in the same building as Crystal Vision.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer may call (484) 265-1028, or visit www.nlhalloweenparade.com.