Children eager for candy flocked to King Street’s curbs on Saturday for the 30th-consecutive year of the Shippensburg Halloween Parade.
With plastic pumpkins swinging from their hands, hundreds of children waited for costumed community members to come by with sweet treats. Parents smiled and waved at people on floats and antique cars, as music from nearby marching bands filled the air.
The parade, which was organized by the Shippensburg Kids Events Committee, began rolling down King Street shortly after 7 p.m. Shippensburg Police Chief Fred Scott led the parade in a borough patrol SUV, followed by a color guard and parade marshal Jeff Coy.
While some parents came out to give their children an early taste of trick or treat, others came to see their son or daughter march in the parade.
Shippensburg University sociology professor Allison Carey waited for her 13-year-old daughter, Chalaina Potts, to march down the street with the Shippensburg Area Middle School Color Guard.
“It’s really nice to see her out here,” Carey said. “I’m proud.”
Carey looked forward to seeing her daughter, but she said she also enjoyed the overall atmosphere of the parade. Carey said the Halloween parade is one of her favorite community events.
“This one in particular is nice because everyone sees each other,” Carey said. “Corn Festival is more for businesses, but this is about the community.”
Dozens of local groups marched down King Street from 7–9 p.m., drawing large crowds from Prince Street down past the Shippensburg Select Diner.
Among the groups were student sports teams, the Girl and Boy scout troops, first responders and local businesses and churches.
Many of the groups rode in cars and on floats. Caches of candy were held in the back of floats for people to throw out to the crowds of children. Dressed as superheroes, fairies and other characters, the children swarmed from the curb to the asphalt to claim their treasure.
Some children opted out of the candy and chose to be in the parade instead. Ten-year-old Shelby Barnhart, daughter of Becky Barnhart, marched with a midget cheerleading squad.
Becky said Shelby is always excited to be in parades. Becky, an area resident, grew up in Shippensburg and said she attended the Shippensburg Halloween Parade since she was a little girl.
She said it has not changed much over the years, and it has always been a good way to bring the community together and share each other’s talents.
Shippensburg residents will get the chance to see more creativity on Oct. 31 when children will dress up and go trick-or-treating from 6–8 p.m.