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Floats, fun and candy highlight 67th Andreas Halloween Parade

At 67 years old, the Andreas Halloween Parade might be compared to a grandparent: Enduring, a lot of fun and plenty of candy.

The annual event was held Wednesday and took about 45 minutes to pass the judging stand — although admittedly the procession passes twice.

Although judging was done on floats and marching groups, the real winners were young spectators who walked away with a bag full of candy. Most of the parade participants, including firefighters parading in their apparatus; Scouts in varied costumes or businesses helping spread seasonal fun tossed Tootsie Rolls, lollipops and other delights.

The parade was co-sponsored by the West Penn Lions/Lioness Club and the West Penn Sporting Club.

A total of 12 floats and five marching units were judged, although nearly just as many nonadjudicated participant including the Tamaqua Area High School Band and a Ghostbuster car.

Winners of the judging were:

• Floats — 1. West Penn Girls Softball Team, “Zombies”; 2. West Penn Cub Scouts 756, “Outdoor Activities”; 3. St. Peter’s Pre-School, “Hoppin’ Thru Pre-School.”

• Marching — 1. West Penn Township Girl Scouts (five troops), “Isn’t Scouting Just Beachy”; 2. Lehighton Brownie Troop 3862, “Galaxy Kids — Girl Scouts of the Future”; 3. Lehighton Ambassador Troop 3583, “Cookie Monsters, Girl Scout Cookies are Coming.”

The West Penn Girls Softball Team had dozens of softball team players in red uniforms with their faces painted riding on a farm wagon. The wagon was draped in fabric to look like giant spider webs.

The softball team narrowly edged out Cub Scout Pack 756, whose “Outdoor Activities” float consisted of campers in fatigues and painted faces amid tents, trees and bushes.

Bob Neumoyer of the West Penn Lions Club, who was master of ceremonies, said, “I just loved the St. Peter’s Pre-School float.”

The float consisted of preschool children dressed as frogs.

Neumoyer said of the parade, “I think it was great. It’s all local. A lot of people did a lot of work. Some groups were working on their floats and costumes for weeks.”

Jess Carpenter of New Ringgold said, “The parade’s a lot of fun. It’s amazing that a village like Andreas can put together such a nice parade. It shows the people here really work together.”

The Tamaqua High School Band, one of the largest high school bands in the local area, marched wearing varied Halloween costumes. The marchers were dressed as Dalmatians, firefighters, princesses, freakish-looking individuals and cartoon characters.

The Ghostbuster car, a 1978 White Ford LTD designed like the vehicle in the original Ghostbuster movie, is owned by Martin Tyson.

Several fire departments took part in the march, with members generously hurling candy to young spectators.

Some of those youngsters wore costumes. Most had bags to carry their stash.

Judges for the parade were Larry Stival and Sharon Snyder, representing the Lions and Lioness club, and Emily Reinsmith, representing Andreas Sporting Club.

The committee in charge of the parade consisted of Neumoyer and his wife Rebecca, Leroy Wentzel, Bob and Judy Miller, Gary Kistler, Melissa Hunsicker, Deb Saunders and Dean Deem.

A first prize float in the 67th annual Andreas Halloween Parade is one carrying members of the West Penn Girls Softball Team, who are dressed as zombies. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Members of the Tamaqua Area High School marching band wear all sorts of costumes in the 67th annual Andreas Halloween Parade on Wednesday. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS