Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Big Turnout at Frostburg’s Halloween Parade

Lights, sirens, action! Large crowds gathered on Main Street in Frostburg Tuesday night to watch the Halloween parade. The beginning was signaled by the lights and sirens of police vehicles, followed by a display of fire engines from Frostburg and surrounding areas. Perhaps the biggest eye catcher of them all was the oldest, retired engine.
The parade featured many different performers. Perhaps two of the most interesting were the Ali Ghan Shrine Club men and the Mountain Ridge High School Marching Band. The Ali Ghan men drove miniature cars in a wild show of figure eights from sidewalk to sidewalk. Both adults and children seemed to enjoy this funny display. The Mountain Ridge High School Marching Band could be heard coming. Frostburg locals would recognize the school’s “Fight Song”. As the band marched by people stood up, clapped, and cheered. The energy of the crowd was measurably higher. The band gave the parade spirit, as a parade without music is really pretty dull.

Children lined the sidewalks eagerly awaiting the candy they knew would soon be thrown. At the start of the parade, Andrew Boch accurately predicted, “The children are going to be diving on the ground for the candy!” Upon each shower of candy children made mad dashes to collect handfuls, with parents close on their heels. The parade offered many ways for a child to enjoy the experience of Halloween. Parents walked in the parade with their costumed children.  Another group of children slowly staggered down the street as if they were zombies. Laura Michael said, “I was really happy that it was unseasonably warm for the parade this year, so you could see the kids’ costumes.”
One very popular event of the night was the children’s party held at City Place. The line stretched back to Main Street; people remarked about how surprised they are at how many have come. Once inside, children can play games and win candy. This year, the large crowds caused an atmosphere that was much more energetic and hectic. Suddenly, a voice on the loud speaker announces that a four year old child is missing. The once loud crowd goes completely silent; even children stop playing. The atmosphere shifts to one of tension and intense concentration as the announcer describes the missing child. But as the description is finished, a second announcement is made that the child has been found. The room is immediately filled with cheer and applause, and a visible feeling of relief.
Some felt the big turnout at the parade took away from the experience. Many parents felt the overcrowding made it hard for their children to enjoy the activities in City Place. Others did not feel this negative effect. Kaitlin Lemmert said, “There were a lot of kids there, so it was nice to see the community getting involved.” Whether the crowds were a problem is different for each person. Ultimately, a large part of the community came out to support each other and enjoy the spirit of Halloween.

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