Since before World War II, local kids have gathered on one night of the last week of October, donning witch, soldier and ghoul costumes to march through the streets of Selbyville.
They will again do so in the early evening hours of next Wednesday, Oct. 27, for the annual Selbyville Halloween Parade, sponsored by the Selbyville/Indian River Lion’s Club. Participants are asked to arrive at town hall no later than 6 p.m. on Wednesday to line up for the 7 p.m. parade.
“It’s just a great community activity for this area,” said Dave Jaeger, the club’s treasurer, who is organizing the event with club President Bob Hensler. “It features the kids and the local families. It’s a traditional kind of parade something that is kind of vanishing for various reasons.”
The Selbyville Lion’s Club, which merged with the Indian River club because of declining numbers, has organized the Selbyville Halloween parade since its inception, according to its president, Bob Hensler, and expects another popular year. More than 200 kids participate annually, Hensler said.
Children and adults can sign up to participate in the parade, free of charge, by visiting town hall no later than 6 p.m. on Wednesday or by calling Jaeger at 436-1667. The dressed-up, costumed folks will walk behind the annual opening band of the parade, the Indian River High School Marching Band.
Stephen Decatur and Pocomoke high school bands and floats will also participate in the parade, which will kick off at 7 p.m. at Selbyville United Methodist Church and march to Mercantile Bank. Motorcycles have been banned this year because of excessive noise last year.
Hensler said this week that the Lion’s Club still sponsors the parade for two reasons: “Most of the kids and adults in town enjoy it, and it’s a fundraiser for us. That’s how we get our money,” he said.
All proceeds will go to the Lion’s Club drive to buy glasses and hearing aids for adults and children who can’t afford them. Lion’s Club officials will be selling 50/50 raffle tickets from noon to 5 p.m. today in front of the Mercantile Bank in Selbyville and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at Super Giant in Millville.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, other foods and drinks will be sold the night of the parade, along with more raffle tickets. The winner of the 50/50 received $1,100 last year.
“If we didn’t do the parade, the Lion’s Club would pretty much have to fold,” Hensler said. “Every year it’s been very successful for us. The 50/50 has become pretty popular. That’s a pretty good chunk of change for a $1 ticket.”