UPDATE: The Parade scheduled for Oct. 27 has been cancelled.

CARBONDALE – This year’s Halloween festivities just got a lot brighter in the Pioneer City!

Everyone is invited to come on out to share an extra-special Halloween in Carbondale this year. Beginning at 8:00pm on Saturday October 27th, the Pioneer City will see its inaugural Halloween Light Parade make its way down Main Street.

“Mayor Taylor is always thinking about ways to get the entire city to come out on a Saturday night to enjoy some good clean family fun,” said City Clerk Michele Bannon. “And what better way to do this than with a holiday parade? Everyone loves a parade, and holidays are just more fun with a parade working its way right through the middle of the city.”

In concert with the Pioneer Nights Committee and the Greater Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, Carbondale will host its first-ever Halloween Light Parade, complete with festively decorated floats, costumed riders and drivers, live music and sweet treats, and of course lots of brightly colored lights.

“This is also a great way to further promote Carbondale, to entice more people to visit and see so much of what our city has to offer,” added Bannon. “And a parade is a great way to encourage community involvement too. Throughout the city, many of our shops and restaurants will be open later to encourage folks to stop by.”

“Already planning to march along with the Chamber itself are several of the city’s businesses, including Kerl’s Oil and Ice, Ken Pollok’s Chevrolet and RNA Auto with Ma’s antique soda truck, Trichilo’s Food Service, the HS marching band and Lynnette’s Twirlerettes, Carbondale’s Little League teams and Boy Scout Troop #8. More folks are signing up every day,” added Gorel.

“We plan to start marching from the corner of 8th Ave. and Main Street,” said Bannon. “Pre-registration is requested so we can line up everyone in parade formation by 7:30pm. But we’ll gladly take any last-minute cars, trucks, or groups that want to join the fun too.” To register, parade marchers are invited to call 570-351-5607, or email Bannon at mbannon@icontech.com.

Then on Halloween afternoon itself, Wednesday October 31st will find costumed trick-or-treaters enjoying another year of citywide downtown holiday participation. Sponsored by the Greater Carbondale YMCA Youth Board and the Greater Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, numerous businesses throughout the city will display pumpkin/jack-o-lantern flyers in their windows and doors.

“YMCA Program Director James Wiggins and I go around talking to every business or organization in town and hand out flyers,” said Gorel. “Anywhere trick-or-treaters see a pumpkin flyer, they’ll know that they’re welcomed to stop by from 3:00pm-6:00pm for a special Halloween treat. Since 1994, our citywide businesses have participated in what has become an ever-growing and always fun-filled Halloween tradition.”

“Twenty-four years ago, this event was started by Steve Durkin with the Carbondale Business Association,” Bannon explained. “Carbondale is so walkable, it’s just easy to get around. And Steve saw it as a great way to promote the city’s businesses while also being a very safe way for kids to enjoy the day and show off their costumes. That first year saw nearly 1,500 kids going in and out of shops and businesses throughout the city, and every year the number of overall participants is amazing.”

Bannon noted that the elementary school generally dismisses the youth early so they can participate in the city’s fun. “It’s not just a safe way for the kids to go out and about, but it also encourages neighbors to get out together and socialize more with one another, and perhaps learn more about the many restaurants, businesses, and organizations throughout the city.

“There’s also something different and extra-special about Halloween …. it’s a magical time and a magical day,” Bannon continued excitedly. “I know some parents who take the day off from work to go out with their kids and neighbors. This kind of trick-or-treating has become a holiday tradition for so many in Carbondale, and I think bringing people together like this is what helps keep the magic continuing to grow for everyone in Carbondale.”