This month, Milford Community Parades, Inc., organizers of Milford’s annual fall parade , announced that this year’s theme will be “Hocus Pocus.” An event that has been a Milford tradition since 1939, the Milford Community Parade marches through Walnut Street of Milford, encompassing 1.7 miles stretching from South to North, through beautiful and scenic downtown Milford. This year’s festivities are scheduled to occur on Wednesday evening, October 15, 2015.
“We encourage all of our participants to adopt the theme and those with the best presentation or adaptation of the theme are eligible for parade trophies,” said Charles Gray, Chairman of Milford Community Parades, Inc. “Participants have been very creative and challenge one another year after year to be the best and most creative.”
The Milford Community Parade was originally themed as a Halloween parade as it began 70 years ago under Ed Evans, who was Milford’s Mayor during World War II. In recent history the Gray family has facilitated the event for the past 25 years. With the help of community members, family and friends, James Gray set out to make the parade a unique experience for those attending. Under the direction of Milford Community Parades, Inc., the parade began as a fall holiday celebration and has since evolved into a fall seasonal parade with changing themes. According to Charles Gray, current Parade Chairperson, attendance has reached 30,000 in previous years with the multiple marching bands as the parade’s signature attraction.
“I wanted the children to hear and see how music is played in unison to create uplifting and harmonious sounds,” said Gray. “Some of us can pick up an instrument and play perfectly, others must learn and practice, practice, practice, to hit the right note. Music makers are performing artists no matter what age.”
In any given year parade goers can listen to between 10 and 20 different bands throughout the evening, including university, high school and community bands. Over the years, the parade has hosted local businesses and non-profit organizations, statewide political figures and even some unique entries including an airplane and an elephant.
Milford Community Parades, Inc., is a not-for-profit organization that raises money for the entire event through community fundraisers and sponsorships. The largest supporter, the City of Milford, began with the former Mayor, Joseph “Ronnie” Rogers, requesting Jim Gray to form a committee to continue the event.
“We are proud of our partnership and the faith Mayor Rogers bestowed upon the committee for accomplishing such a great annual event,” commented Gray. “We equally appreciate the hours of assistance local law enforcement officers from Kent and Sussex Counties have given, and city personnel hours to make this such a community-driven event.”
With this year’s theme in place and already 10 bands scheduled to appear, including a string band straight from Philadelphia, interested organizations, businesses and families are urged to put their thinking caps on, get out the magic wands and volunteers, and start getting ready to participate in the largest evening parade held on Delmarva. Interested groups can find more information online at http://www.milfordparade.com or on Facebook. For sponsorship information, individuals are urged to email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Sponsorship” in the subject line.