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Tamaqua Halloween Parade draws more than 6,000

A night of fun and fright captivated more than 6,000 spectators Tuesday at the 51st Annual Tamaqua Halloween Parade, sponsored by the Tamaqua Lions Club.

Perfect, summerlike weather lured folks from their living rooms to witness what many said was the best parade in years.

“I like to see how many come out and support it, and to see the kids dressed,” said Frank Tongue of Lansford.

Crowds started gathering as early as 5 p.m., with many jockeying for prime viewing locations along the sidewalks and stoops of downtown.

At 7 p.m., the 90-minute march of the macabre stepped off. The delightfully ghoulish spectacle lit up Broad Street in eerie colors of purple and orange. Several floats used smokelike fog for special effect.

The parade route was 1 mile long and onlookers called it a highlight of the year.

Spectator Penny Gursky of Tamaqua said she has enjoyed the parade for the past 22 years and realizes her husband grew up with it as a family ritual.

“It’s been Micah’s tradition since he was a kid,” she said.

“I like the candy,” admitted Eva Snyder, 14, of Tamaqua, dressed as a fashionable witch, sporting an elegant white shawl.

Dressed as Donald Duck, little Noah Christman, 2, of Tamaqua was spellbound as he stared at the exotic costumes passing by. The candy tossed from floats was a bonus for the tyke.

Robert Feliciano of Walker Township was on hand with his family and said the parade is a happy event; the joy of the evening, he said, is in witnessing the reactions.

“I like to see my grandsons’ faces.”

Another said Tamaqua’s parade is well-known throughout the region.

“We come down here every year. This one is always entertaining,” said Amanda Lerch, West Hazleton.

Some of the marchers had four legs and appeared courtesy of Tamaqua Area Animal Rescue. Higgins, a large, brown dog owned by Bethanne Zaldaris of Hometown, seemed to enjoy the pace and was a crowd favorite. George Geissinger, Tamaqua, kept two German shepherd-type dogs, Blitz and Sarah, under control for the entire parade route. Tamaqua Mayor Chris Morrison was accompanied by a Husky breed.

Other pets rode in floats or were pushed in carriages.

Approximately 80 organizations or groups took part in the event.

The judges’ stand was located in the center of the 100 block of West Broad Street, where R.C. the DJ from Radio T102 served as announcer.

The Tamaqua Lions Club expressed appreciation to all who participated or helped to make the night spooktacular, among them: the Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce, Tamaqua Wireless Association, Tamaqua Elks Lodge, Tamaqua Fire Police, and Tamaqua Historical Society, which provided electricity for the judges’ stand.

The Eclectic Circus commands attention at Tuesday’s Tamaqua Halloween Parade with a display of color, motion and the unusual.
Dressed as Donald Duck, Noah Christman, 2, of Tamaqua, can’t take his eyes off the unique characters of the Tamaqua Halloween Parade held Tuesday. DONALD R. SERFASS/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Members of the Tamaqua Area High School Raider Marching Band display their individuality during Tuesday’s Tamaqua Halloween Parade. Scan this photo with the Prindeo app to see a photo gallery. DONALD R. SERFASS/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS