Oxford celebrates Halloween with large parade
By Steven Hoffman
Zombies, witches, vampires, ghosts, ghouls and even the Grinch roamed the streets of Oxford on Thursday, Oct. 29. Fortunately, this rather dark cast of characters was balanced by some champions of good— Superman and Spider-Man, various princesses, and Jedi among them.
Two hours before Oxford’s annual Halloween Parade started, there were already more than 50 floats and marching groups registered for what is always one of the town’s largest and most popular events.
The Oxford Area High School Marching Band and Penn’s Grove Marching Band led the parade through town as a large crowd gathered along the parade route to marvel at the wonderfully decorated floats and incredible costumes.
The start time for this year's parade was moved up by a half an hour because there are now so many floats and groups participating.
“It's really grown over the years,” said Jim McLeod, who heads up the committee that plans this annual parade. The committee includes volunteers from the Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce, Oxford Mainstreet, Inc., the Oxford Police Department, and the Oxford Public Works Department.
“It takes a lot of people to put this together,” McLeod said.
The parade once again included a wide variety of participants. Businesses like Texture Salon and Spa, Oxford Mini Storage, Soap Bucket Skincare and Candles, Wawa, Herr Foods, and Cameron's Hardware had floats, vehicles, or groups marching in the parade. Local dance studios and karate schools were well represented among parade participants, as were the Boy Scouts and football players and cheerleaders from the Oxford Golden Bears organization. Some of the best floats were those that represented the freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior class at Oxford Area High School. Some people were getting their first looks at these floats after heavy rains on Oct. 2 forced the cancellation of the Homecoming Parade.
“A lot of people put a lot of work into those floats,” said McLeod, who has been helping to organize this annual parade for more than 30 years. He said that he likes being involved with an event that people enjoy.
“Children really love this parade,” McLeod said.
He thanked everyone who helped out to make the event possible, including the police and the fire police who worked to ensure public safety. Parley Hess assisted by organizing the floats and marchers as they lined up, and Mary Baringer also played a key role in organizing the event.
Here’s a look at some the results from this year’s parade:
Best Overall Float:
Best Theme Float:
1. OAHS Class of 2018
2. Oxford Robotics
3. OAHS Junior Class
Best performance group:
1. Andrea’s Academy of Dance
2. KMC Dance
3. Chesco Dance Center
Best Business Entry:
1. Unionville Equine Associates
2. Oxford Mini Storage
3. Oxford Veterinarian Hospital
Best Individual Marcher or Small Group or Family:
1. Halloween Crew (Debbie Stanley)
2. Motorcycle & Cage (Tom and Lynn McClure)
3. Mrs. Claus and reindeer (Jolly Jackson)