Holidays bring out the best of small-town charm. All decked out with scarecrows and pumpkins galore, the Nazareth circle was a hub of autumn festivities Saturday, Oct. 19 as the weekly Farmers’ Market celebrated its Fall Festival in conjunction with the annual Halloween Parade.
The parade has been a staple in the borough for as far back as Carl Strye (mayor of Nazareth, fire company president, and parade chairman) can remember. But in fact, the earliest recorded parade took place in 1927, according to archived issues of the old ‘Item’ newspaper digitized at the Memorial Library of Nazareth.
From the ‘70s on, the Vigilance Hose Company No. 1 and the Nazareth Area Kiwanis Club have sponsored the parade.
“My dad did it,” said Strye. “Back then, it was a night parade. I took over in 1987 and changed the route in 1990. I think beginning and ending near the high school makes the whole process a lot easier.”
The parade sets off at Belvidere and Liberty, travels up to Main St., goes a quarter of the way around the circle, and continues down East Center St. to Nazareth Area High School.
“Over the years, it’s grown. It’s a nice parade,” said Strye. It is the most popular parade of the year; this year, there were over 1,200 participants, which included four bands, numerous Scout troops, local cheerleading squads, some area politicians and local businesses.
Jennings Transportation also raised over $5000 and donated it to the food bank.
“It’s a potluck; it’s open to anybody, so you never know what’s going to happen,” Strye said. “It’s fun, how could it not be? I’ve had a great time doing it. It takes a good group of people to run it and I just happen to have a good group of people under me to help.”
Editor’s Note: Our grateful thanks goes to the Nazareth librarians who researched the parade’s origins for us.
—Photos by Danielle S. Tepper
First: “Motorcycle Mama and Harley Chicks”—JoAnne Vanatta with Rhonda and Hexi the dogs
Second: “Mr. Sand Man”—Sandra Geiger
Third: “Sofia the First”—Onyx Colon
“1960 Hippies”—JoAnn Rasy
BEST SMALL GROUP
First: Creative Kids Club Daycare
Second: The Friess family
Third: “Haunted House on Wheels—”The Smith family
Fourth: Forever Friends Daycare
BEST LARGE GROUP
First: “Under-the-sea Swim Team”—Nazareth YMCA
Second: Jeannie Cardinals’s School of Dance
Third: Jennings Transportation
First: “Zombie Scouts”—Cub Scout Pack 78
Second: “Scouting for Food”—Cub Pack 44
Third: “Medieval Castle”—Cub Pack 88
Nazareth Area Girl Scouts
First: “Horse and Cowboys”—Equi Librium
Second: “Hair Salon Cancer Awareness”—Angelic Hair Care
Third: “Super Heroes Fighting Cancer”—Relay For Life
Easton Little Red Rovers
SPECIAL JUDGES AWARD
“Horse and Cowboys”—Equi Librium