Community Parade Marches, Oct 16

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Staff Report

The annual Milford community parade is scheduled for Wednesday evening, October 16, 6:30pm along Walnut Street. This year’s theme is “Comic Books Come To Life”. Local and surrounding community groups, fire companies, marching bands, vehicle groups, scouts groups and more participate annually. In addition, public figures, dignitaries, horse groups, costumed families and businesses participate. There is no admission fee to enter the parade but an application is required.

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.

Chairperson Charles Gray stated, “We expect to see some fun and super hero type entries this year. We like to see how groups interpret the theme to get their messages out or fun things to share in the celebration. Families arrive downtown early and get a bite to eat at the vendors locations and stake their claim to their viewing space too.”

Entries take time and effort to ready themselves for the parade. Some construct elaborate floats, decorate business vehicles or make homemade costumes. “Our favorite part is watching the procession of community groups that have re-used items to decorate or construct their idea,” remarked Marie Jo Gray, entry coordinator.”

The entries are reviewed by judges and then awarded prizes in several different judging categories. Last year, entries were geared toward “halloween” theme as Autumn Spooktacular. “Some of the entries were incredible,” commented Carmen Kemper, Treasurer and parade night official. “If you have a little one, let them dress up in their favorite super hero costume and watch the parade, or get the whole family in costume and be a part of the parade.”

The Milford Parade Committee met in January and chose an entry as the recipient of the Outstanding Spirit Award. This year’s recipient was The Rookery North. Their float theme was Thriller, a hit song by Michael Jackson, and they “went over the top with makeup and choreography too.”

The 1.7 mile parade route has three reviewing stands along Walnut Street. Each has a Forever Media radio Master of Ceremonies, portable restrooms, and a vendor. Additional vendors are located downtown as well, with most stores open until 7pm, celebrating their evening hours of operation. The reviewing stands will be located at City Hall, Church of God and Milford Plant and Garden Shop.

Detour map and directions are available at the parade website. The volunteer parade committee partners with the Delaware Department of Transportation and the Milford Police Department to make visitors and those traveling in the area the evening of the parade, aware of the detour necessary for the parade. With the assistance of the City of Milford, Parks & Recreation Department and Public Works Department, the City looks its best, and resources are placed to assist the parade committee for another successful year. Entries are given directions with maps, rules and information to share with their group.

“The committee has worked diligently to provide all the information necessary for groups to participate and to enjoy their time in Milford,” remarked Mr. Gray, chairperson. “We cannot thank our sponsors enough for their commitment to us to continue having successful parades. Companies like Milford Rent-All, Wilson Auction Sales, County Bank, i.g. Burton & Co and many more as well as the families and individuals that contributes as well.”

More information about the Milford Parade fundraisers, parade route, detour route and entry applications can be found at www.milfordparade.com. Sponsors and entries are still accepted through October 8, 2019.

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