This week, the Milford Community Parade Committee announced that they were moving forward with plans for the parade. The 2021 parade will be held on Wednesday, October 20, stepping off at 6:30 PM. The theme for this year’s parade is “Retro Halloween.”
“The Milford tradition returns after cancellation out of caution due to forecasted high winds in 2019 and in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions,” Charles Gray, Chairman, said. “We are grateful for the awesome work medical professionals and key decision makers processed to keep the community safe. We were saddened by the lives lost locally and globally. Our determination and this announcement comes after much deliberation through this past year. We are equally excited to say we will ‘March in October.’”
The parade website, which can be found at www.milfordparade.com, has information on how individuals, businesses and groups can enter the parade. There is also a map, detour link, list of rules and regulations as well as information on fund raising. The site also recognizes sponsors like I.G. Burton, Burris Logistics and Wilson’s Auction and Sales.
“We are honoring our sponsorships from 2019 along with asking for additional sponsors who can sign up at our website,” Carmen Kemper, Treasurer, said. “We would like to include a Philadelphia string band performance in this year’s parade. All of our funds are raised by the committee through our fundraisers.”
Any business, organization or family that donates more than $100 to the parade is provided a professional sign designating them as sponsors which can be displayed in a business window or yard. Donations can be made through the website link which will take them to Eventbrite. The committee has also partnered with the Milford Elks Lodge to hold a Quarter Auction on Saturday, September 11.
“Quarter Mania is an awesome time with friends bidding on items valued from $10 to $50, winning them with bids from 25 cents to one dollar per bid,” Mary Jo Gray, Secretary, said. “Two Blue Rhino propane tanks will be offered among with many other items like gift cards to area businesses as well as items donated by local companies, individuals and organizations. As if that were not enough fun, a special chip is added where the winner can upgrade their prize to a higher valued item if the chip is drawn. Milford Elks Lodge will be selling subs and refreshments. The doors open at 6 PM and the auction begins at 7 PM.”
More information is available on the parade website where tickets can be purchased. The first 100 tickets purchased online will receive a commemorative 9/11 lapel pin designed the morning after the attacks. Only 1,000 of the pins were created.
The Milford Community Parade travels 1.7 miles through the center of Milford. Businesses, civic organizations and families are encouraged to enter the parade. Some of the ideas suggested for this year’s theme include comic book heroes, costumes from the 70s or 80s, retro cartoon characters, adapting a favorite television show from the past and more.
“This parade is longer than most and even longer than those in amusement parks,” Mr. Gray said. “We have more than ten bands scheduled to appear. With the help of the Milford Lions, each year we have the National Band Judges from Philadelphia judge the bands’ performance. At the conclusion, band directors receive critique sheets to work from strengths and weaknesses the judges shared for their band’s performance. The information is valuable to the directors as they might be seen as subjective to their own band. This affords band directors the opportunity to focus on changes necessary so when they meet the judges in upcoming competitions, including Tournament of the Bands, they are more confident and stronger in their performances. We are proud to offer such an educational tool to the directors and to the band members, both new and senior.”
Mr. Gray explained that the committee expects to see a lot of retro characters, including Scooby Doo, Strawberry Shortcake, Power Rangers, characters from Happy Days plus many more.
“As a community, we have struggled, we have persevered, and we have overcome,” Mr. Gray said. “Annually, our goal is to bring the street alive with characters for the fun and enjoyment of all ages. With the help of volunteers, the departments and City Council for the City of Milford, and local fire policemen, the evening is shared among friends and family.”
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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