Ghosts and ghouls from across southern Ohio gather about to sing and shout during Chillicothe, Ohio's annual Halloween parade. The parade, sponsored by the Chillicothe Jaycees, is one of the most popular local events in the former Ohio capita. If you're planning to go, make sure you bring your costume.
Time and Place
The Chillicothe Halloween parade takes place on the last Saturday in October each year. It steps off at the park on East Water and Paint Street, continues for two blocks, where it turns right on Main Street. After a right on Mullberry, it finishes up on Water and Yoctangee streets. In the spirit of the holiday, the parade takes place at night, starting at 7 p.m.
When to Arrive
Parade route streets close at 5 p.m., so parade goers should plan to arrive early. Parking is available in downtown and in Chillicothe's park, according to Angie Lochbaum, Chillicothe Halloween Parade project chair. Those taking part in the parade should arrive no later than 5:30 p.m., when the parade lineup begins. Parade viewers should sit along the parade route on the sidewalk and off the street. Lochbaum suggests bringing lawn chairs for comfort.
Wear Your Best
Another reason to arrive early? Costume contests! Parade watchers are encouraged to dress for the holiday. Arrive early dressed as your favorite ghost or gremlin and take part in the annual costume contest. Winners are selected at 5 p.m. in the City Pool parking lot. Winners are invited to walk in the parade. Float judging takes place at the same time in the same spot.
Naming the Parade
Though the official name of the parade is the Evening Lions Chillicothe Jaycees Halloween Parade, every year the Jaycees challenge the students from Chillicothe and Ross County schools to come up with a clever name for the parade. A winner is selected and that student becomes the parade's Jr. Grand Marshall. The Grand Marshall is the Chillicothe Jaycees Citizen of the Year.
Lochbaum says the Jaycees are uncertain how long the group has hosted the parade, though she knows the annual event is more than 30 years old. Anecdotes from residents who remember the parade during the 1950s suggest the parade is much older. For the past three decades, the Evening Lions and Chillicothe Jaycees have chaired the event.
- Angie Lochbaum, Project Chair, Chillicothe Halloween Parade
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