It’s one of the biggest, spookiest celebrations in southeast Sussex County: The Selbyville Halloween Parade will return on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. The Fenwick Island Lions Club and the Town of Selbyville sponsor the event, which is more than 60 years old.
What makes it so special?
“I think part of it is the tradition, and that it’s a family event,” said Lions Club parade organizer Fran Pretty. “The old-timers talk about it, and then the new people that have moved in, I think they come to see what it’s like.”
The parade marches east on Church Street, from town hall to the traffic signal at Main Street.
Participants include fire companies, scouting troops, a Southern Delaware School of the Arts dance group, local businesses, local politicians and candidates, and more. Live music comes from the marching bands of Indian River, Sussex Central and Stephen Decatur high schools.
“It’s to get into the Halloween spirit, and maybe get ideas for costumes and parties, and just a fun thing for the kids to see,” Pretty said.
Children can participate in the costume contest, then march in the parade. They should report to Salem United Methodist Church parking lot at 6 p.m. Awards will be given for best dressed and most original costumes of each age group.
All other parade participants and floats should report to the check-in desk behind the PNC Bank on Dukes Street.
Pretty said she is especially charmed by the kids in costume.
“They’re so cute, and they seem to be having so much fun, and to see their eyes — they’re looking up and down the street to see if they recognize anyone,” she said.
Several thousand spectators line the streets each year, Pretty noted.
“We look forward to do doing it every year,” she said. “It’s special because we, the Lions Club, like to do things that are family-oriented, things that are on the local level and things that people really enjoy and continue traditions that have been in existence for a long time.”
It’s also “Sight Night” for the club, so people attending the parade are being asked to donate old eyeglasses or sunglasses, which the Lions Club will donate to people in need in other countries. Lions Clubs worldwide are known for their sight and vision work, collecting eyeglasses, providing vision screenings and fundraising for vision research.
Indian River High School LEO Club volunteers will go through the audience, collecting glasses. The teenagers will also help escort the children in the parade.
In addition, the Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company will have a food shack. The Lions Club will also sell hamburgers, hotdogs, sodas and hot chocolate.
The winner of the Lions’ annual 50/50 drawing will be announced at the end of the night. It has historically produced some impressive cash winnings. The winner need not be present.
Handicapped parking will be available in the Town parking lot behind the Georgia House restaurant on Main Street.
Details and last-minute sign-up information are online at www.townofselbyville.com.