One of the highlights of the year in Selbyville will arrive Wednesday, Oct. 26, when the annual Halloween parade steps off on its brief route through the streets of the town at 7 p.m.
Organized by the town’s Lions Club, the parade is one of the few Halloween parades in coastal Delaware and is expected to be even be bigger in 2005 than in previous years.
According to Lions Club parade co-chair Dave Jaeger, the parade’s usual offering of two or three bands will expand to at least four this year, with arrangements still being worked out for a possible fifth band.
So far, bands from three area high schools are on board: Indian River, Sussex Central and Sussex Tech, with the Stephen Decatur High School marching band coming from nearby Berlin, Md., to entertain the holiday crowd.
“Other than the bands, the main feature is the kids,” Jaeger noted.
In addition to children — both in and out of costume — along the parade route, children in costume will be among the marchers in the parade. There will be small prizes for each of the five age groups designated by the Lions Club.
(Children participating in the parade are asked to be at the Salem United Methodist Church parking lot by 6 p.m. to line up.)
Judging for their age categories and other parade awards will be done by a panel of local dignitaries. (The reviewing stand will be located near the corner of Church Street and Main Street, at the end of the parade route.)
This year’s judges include state Sen. George Howard Bunting, Rep. Gerald Hocker, Sussex County Councilman Vance Philips, Selbyville Town Councilman Jay Murray and the Rev. Bruce Cook of Salem United Methodist Church in Selbyville.
Also appearing in the parade will be Mrs. Delaware 2005, Susanne Truitt, and Little Miss Delmarva Peninsula, Melanie Nielson. And the Indian River High School Marine Corps ROTC will carry the colors for the parade, continuing a longstanding tradition.
Another highlight of the annual event, according to Jaeger, is the Lions Club’s sale of 50/50 raffle tickets at the parade, to benefit the club and the parade. The drawing for the raffle will be held at the end of parade, and may make it well worthwhile for parade-goers to remain until the very end.
“Last year, the winner got $1,600,” Jaeger said. “Of course, there’s no guarantee this year will be that much,” he noted.
In addition, the club will be selling hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks.
“It’s a short route,” Jaeger admitted, but he said he expected the annual event would see a lot of people packed in that small space to view and participate in the parade, costume competition and holiday fun.
Jaeger credited the work of his co-chair, Selbyville Lions Club Vice President Bob Hensler, and President Linda Fairfax for the organization behind the 2005 parade.