Mechanicsburg streets shut down for the 2019 Halloween Parade


Troop 10592's award winning float Picture Credit: Amalia Ried

Jenna Archer, Features Editor

As the leaves change color, the days grow shorter, and the temperature drops in October, the Halloween season officially begins!

Every year the borough of Mechanicsburg shuts down their streets and hosts a Halloween parade for local families to enjoy. This year, the parade promptly started at 7 P.M. on October 8th, with groups lined up and down the street ready to go.

Starting on Broad Street, the parade turns onto Keller Street, then onto Arch Street, where it winds its way back towards the high school on Simpson Street, ending on George Street, with people crowding the sidewalks the entire way.

There is a competition where groups can enter homemade floats to be judged and awarded prizes. A few Mechanicsburg seniors who are members of the Girl Scout Troop 10592 entered a decades day themed float. The float was decked out in handcrafted signs illustrating iconic moments in pop culture. From The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and ACDC to The Gremlins, an astronaut, and old toys, the float had it all, including fairy lights twinkling along the edges.

One member of the troop, Sr. Robin Hoy reflects on her “amazing memories” from the parade. “I’ve been doing the parade for 12 years with my Girl Scout troop. It’s kind of a bittersweet ending, since this is our last year, and it’s been a big part of my life.” 

The girls’ float won third, continuing their streak of placing every year in this competition with their impressive floats.

Among the floats are other attractions such as the actors dressed up in gruesome costumes follow behind a haunted hayride, handing out Field of Screams pamphlets to people sitting alongside the route. Fire trucks and ambulances came down the street with their lights flashing and sirens blaring. Vendors made their way around the crowd, shouting prices for light up wands and balloons, kids begging their parents to buy them one.

Marching bands march down the street, coming from other schools like Cumberland Valley, Trinity, and Carlisle to participate. Jr. Bella Durand is a part of the Cumberland Valley Color Guard, and she looks forward to spinning in the Mechanicsburg Halloween Parade every year. She says it’s a “great way to get into the Halloween spirit and put a smile on so many people’s faces!”

The MASH marching band was festive, dressed in their costumes, playing “Hey Baby” and the drumline playing the cadence.  Sr. Tori Freeny plays the piccolo in this years’ marching band production, and the Halloween parade is one of her favorite events of the season. “It’s always so much fun to see how excited the younger kids get when we come down the street!” she exclaims.

Mechanicsburg cheerleaders cheered throughout the entire parade from their float and the Wildcat football team followed behind, waving to the crowds lining the streets.

As the evening drew to a close, Mechanicsburg wrapped up another Halloween parade. It was a great night for families to create new memories, kids to laugh and collect candy, people to get dressed up, and for the community to come out and continue this spooky tradition.