Meadville hosts 50th annual Halloween Parade

Community celebrates with a ‘Nightmare on Chestnut Street’

Hannah Schaffer, Contributing Writer

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Meadville’s 50th annual Halloween Parade took place on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 6:30 p.m. This year the theme was “Nightmare on Chestnut Street.”

The Meadville Halloween Parade is the largest annual nighttime parade in Pennsylvania, according to the parade’s website. It was hosted by Crawford Area Young Chamber of Commerce and was sponsored by many local businesses, organizations and individuals.

The parade began in Diamond Park before migrating down Chestnut Street and making a right onto Market Street to finish in front of the Grandstand by the Market House.

The Crawford Area Young Chamber of Commerce selected the non-profit organization where the proceeds—exceeding the operational cost of the parade—were donated. Last year, the parade’s proceeds went to the Crawford County Humane Society. This year, all proceeds were donated to St. James Haven, an overnight temporary  homeless shelter for men located in Meadville.

“I am excited to see how people in Meadville get together to celebrate Halloween,” said Miharu Koh, ’20, as she waited for the parade to begin.

Koh was one of the thousands of people who gathered to watch the parade, which included firetrucks, marching bands and even Little Miss Cochran Libby Boulton.

“She loves the firetrucks,” said Meadville resident, Casey Briggs,  as she pointed to the little girl sitting on her shoulders.

Only moments after the parade began, the Crawford County Democratic Society drove a car covered in Hillary Clinton advertisements down Park Avenue. Shortly after, Crawford County Young Republicans followed sporting a man clothed in a navy suit and Donald Trump mask on top of a vehicle.

Following the Crawford County Young Republicans’ float was yet another vehicle campaigning Trump for president. The second float read, “Trumped for Trump Pennsylvania,” and dragged behind it an elephant statue.

The senate election was not forgotten with floats advertising for Michele Brooks, Brad Roae, a state representative and Katie McGinty all included in the parade.

Many more Trump supporters followed.

“I didn’t like that they showed the political parties, and I felt like there was an unequal representation of the parties,” Savannah Grey, ’20, said.

Many of the floats refrained from advertising for the upcoming election, and instead stuck to using the theme of “Nightmare on Chestnut” to celebrate and advertise organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girl Scouts, Mobile Learning Labs and more.

The Meadville Halloween Parade was full of different floats and people handing out candy.

“I really liked seeing all the cute little kids running around and getting the candy,” Grey said.

Meadville is now in full preparation for the upcoming holiday season.

Halloween was not the only holiday celebrated in the three-hour parade. A dancing pack of Christmas elves, a float sponsored by the Meadville Garden Club carrying a giant Christmas tree topped with a Santa hat and a woman dressed as a decorated tree passing out buckets of candy, all participated in the parade.

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