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Variety on parade for JT Halloween event

As vivid as the assortment of colors in the fall foliage on Jim Thorpe’s mountains, so was the variety in the annual Jim Thorpe Halloween Parade on Saturday.

Although there were a few skeletons in the line of march, the parade consisted mostly of cutesy, original and colorful presentations from marching groups or on floats.

About 375 people participated in the march with the parade route amply lined with spectators.

The children were generously treated to candy handed out by the marchers.

The three-division parade featured “Star Wars” characters, marching dinosaurs, Scooby-Doo, princesses and, as a grand finale, Santa - played by Bob Eulo - riding in an open Jeep.

His wife, Mary, was Mrs. Claus and sat in the front seat of the vehicle.

The parade is sponsored by the Jim Thorpe Lions Club.

Ronald Sheehan, a member of the Lions and a parade coordinator, said, “The Jim Thorpe Lions Club was pleased with the turnout along the streets. There were a lot of kids in costume (watching the parade). Every group that registered showed up.”

“It’s great to be back since we had to cancel it last year,” he said.

The parade had 103 vehicles - including about a dozen Tin Lizzie little buggies from the Shriners organization - and about a half dozen floats.

Leading the parade was Jim Thorpe Chief of Police Joe Schatz and a state police cruiser.

The grand marshal was Jim Thorpe business owner Shawn Kresge of Shawn Kresge Electric. He and family members walked along the parade route with several Labrador retrievers wearing green outfits.

Judges for the parade were John Bilsak, Clem McGinley and Deb Smith. Bilsak has been a judge for 25 years, McGinley is in his 11th year as a judge and this is Smith’s first time at the reviewing table.

Bilsak said, “It was a good parade. I only wish it wish it could be long; that we could get more people involved.”

“The floats were amazing,” said Smith. “There was a nice variety.”

Cub Pack 138 was judges’ best float with “Star Wars” characters riding on it.

Judged the most original presentation was Girl Scout Troop 30903, with the theme “Girl Scouting for the Whole Year.” The costumes by the girls depicted every season, with a pumpkin marching next to a human Christmas tree.

Just as interesting as the marchers were the costumed spectators who also showed creativity. Along North Street, a woman dressed as a witch and wearing a red robe watched attentively, smiling as the parade passed. Colleen DeFuso of Jim Thorpe carried a small dog that was dressed as a frankfurter in a roll.

Several fire departments showed off their apparatus, including Jim Thorpe Fire Department, Penn Forest Fire Department and the Mahoning Valley Fire Company.

The Jim Thorpe High School marching band members wore an assortment of costumes as they played selections while marching. The Hawk Mountain Highlanders wore kilts and Scottish attire while playing Celtic music.

Parade winners

The judges selected the following as the top prize winners in the parade:

Floats: first, Cub Pack 138, “Star Wars”; second, Masons Cold Beer, various Halloween depictions including a skeleton on a race car; Art Guth.

Groups: first, Olympian Booster Club; second, Immaculate Conception Parish Prep Class, “God’s Team Always Wins.”

Most Original: First, Girl Scout Troop 30903, “Girl Scouting for the Whole Year”; Girl Scout Troop 30470, “The Magical Scouts of Troop 30470.”

“Star Wars” was the theme of this float by Cub Pack 138 in the Jim Thorpe Halloween Parade on Saturday. The float won a first-place prize. See a photo gallery at tnonline.com RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Parade grand marshal Shawn Kresge marches with a black Lab in Jim Thorpe Halloween Parade on Saturday. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS