Milford Community Parades, Inc., organizers of Milford’s annual fall parade , have announced that this year’s theme will be Autumn Spooktacular. 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 17, 2017.
Last year’s theme of To The Stars And Beyond was a widely successful theme. “This year’s promises to be just as exciting!” remarks Marlee Gray, one of several lifetime committee members. Marlee has been a committee member her whole life as she is twelve years old. “I get excited about the theme every year to draw and discuss options for a float. The night-time gives a decorator/designer the chance to be creative with resources used and to make things shimmer and shine too.”
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 over 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.
Parade Chairperson Charles Gray shared some ideas for this year’s theme. “For Autumn Spooktacular, here are some suggestions: colorful trees walking down the street with shiny leaves, spooky things that go bump in the night, a hayride of fairytale princesses, large singing tissue flowers of fall colors depicting a garden of mums, scarecrows that dance in sync, little pumpkins with google eyes, fall inspired flowers and hay bales, little goblins that give their best boo, a barn full of animals in the windows and an owl in the loft…who?…an owl…”, said Gray. “These are just a few ideas to spark creativity. Our judges are given the theme to look for entries and their interpretation of the theme for awards. Bonus points are given to those using the theme.
Businesses, groups and individuals can enter the parade free of charge thanks to partnerships and sponsors. “This year we are happy to share that our awards will be “Powered by Burris Logistics”, stated Parade Chairperson, Charles Gray. “Each year, we request contributions to the parade from citizens, groups, and businesses. The current committee has been raising funds for the parade since 1984. This all volunteer committee has provided the logistical planning resources without charge as well, so the citizens of Milford can enjoy a free family-friendly evening of fun. Without our partnerships with the City Council and respective City departments, and Delmarva Broadcasting Company, we would have to charge entries or recoup costs directly from the attendee. We are so ever grateful,” Mr. Gray stated.
The committee has annual fundraisers throughout the year with partners like the City of Milford, Milford Moose Lodge and more. This year, the annual electric bill insert will arrive in the June Billing, and new this year is a quarter auction to be held at the Milford Moose Lodge on Friday evening, September 7, 2018. A paint night is also planned for October 6, 2018 at the Milford Moose. Both events at the Moose will include food and drink to be purchased, provided by the Moose Lodge. To make a contribution for the quarter auction, individuals and businesses can contact Carmen Kemper at 302-422-4187.
Entry, rules, and parade route information can be found at the committee’s website at www.milfordparade.com. An online application and a downloadable application, as well as an online contribution ticket can be found on the site. Additional information throughout the months leading up to the parade can be found on their facebook page at Milford Community Parade. Volunteers willing to help out at fundraisers or the night of the parade can contact Charles Gray via email at email@example.com. Contributions of any amount can also be mailed to MCP, Inc. PO Box 1153, Milford, DE 19963
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