A well-travelled giant pumpkin, Surrey’s exhilarating Celebration Dance Team, and local exhibitors are among the star attractions at this year’s Halloween Costume Parade in Cloverdale.
The popular daytime trick-or-treat parade attracts hundreds of local families each year, and promises to take over the historic town centre this Saturday afternoon (Oct. 26).
It’s a safe, family-friendly event involving local businesses, too. It’s now in its 13th year. Festivities begin at noon at Surrey Museum Plaza and the parade starts at 2 p.m., when children in costumes are taken on a supervised walk through downtown Cloverdale.
Trick or treaters visit local stores in three zones: downtown, Brickyard Station and Clover Square Village mall.(Prizes for costumes are awarded by random draw.)
Six hundred children showed up in the rain last year, with just under 1,200 turning out the year before.
“It’s like our version of a giant open house on Halloween weekend,” says Paul Orazietti, executive director of the Cloverdale BIA, which co-organizes the event.
“The merchants are the ones that bring it alive. They get dressed up – they get quite into it. Some have smoke machines. It’s their way of saying, here we are and giving back to the community.”
Cloverdale and area is home to a huge, and growing, population of families with young children who like having an alternative to going door-to-door in the dark.
“This is a safe way of getting candy,” Orazietti says. “And, people like to dress up.”
The often elaborate and frequently creative costumes donned by young and old are truly something to behold.
One year, a dad and his sons dressed up as pirates – complete with a rolling pirate ship with all the trimmings, right down to the grinning Jolly Roger flag atop the mast.
Dressing up as comic book heroes like Spider-Man and Disney princesses are popular options, as is paying homage to pop culture icons from TV and film.
“We’ve had the Philadelphia Cream Cheese angel and Shreks,” says Orazietti, who says although this year’s big TV moment was the Breaking Bad finale, he doubts many costumes will reference the AMC show. “More than likely it will be zombies, because Walking Dead is doing big numbers.”
Costumes are only part of the action.
The Surrey Museum at 17710 56A Avenue is hosting Pumpkin Power. Come decorate jack-o’-lanterns and eat pumpkin pie.
There will be spooky games and a Halloween scavenger hunt in the museum’s exhibit gallery. (Must pre-register at 604-592-6956).
Outside, parade participants can have their photo taken with a giant pumpkin.
Grower Mario Camparmo of Fort Langley – who calls himself The Pumpkin Dude – will be bringing along an 800-pound pumpkin.
The former resident of Cloverdale belongs to a giant pumpkin grower club, recently took the pumpkin to a weigh-off in Oregon.
The Surrey Celebration Team are set to perform a Halloween themed dance at 1:15 p.m.
The group formed in 2010 and has grown to as many as 25 dancers aged 17 to 27 who combine a range of dance styles, from tumbling and break dancing to hip hop and ballet.
In the plaza, check out Cinemazoo’s exhibit of scary critters: tarantulas, skunks and reptiles.
The Halloween Costume Parade is presented by the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association, and Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce, along with various sponsors, including Surrey RCMP’s District 4 office, along with Surrey Crime Prevention.
Registration is from noon to 1:45 p.m., followed by the group photo and parade at 2 p.m.