By Herb Meeker
News Report Staff
In the next three days, Effingham and Teutopolis will host their annual Halloween Parades.
The Effingham parade has a multitude of generations joining in the fun Sunday, while Teutopolis has mostly young people involved just before they head out for trick or treat Friday night.
Spectators along the route of the this year’s Effingham Sunrise Rotary Club Halloween Parade might see creative uses of hair spray and gel, or some colorful jogging suits and other vintage clothing and possibly some old “brick” phones on Sunday afternoon.
The parade theme this year is a salute to the 1980s so some parade participants might raid closets or attics to head back to that decade.
“We’re looking for clever ideas meeting the theme for our prizes. There might be some Ghostbusters this year,” said Nathan Earnest of the Sunrise Rotary parade committee.
As of last week, there were about 90 entries signed up for the parade that starts at 2 p.m. Sunday. It will proceed along North Maple Street and then head east onto Jefferson Avenue.
The parade awards go to the best among youth entries and those sponsored by businesses or community organizations. The parade also includes several school bands, including some from outside Effingham County.
The parade certainly gets Effingham into the Halloween spirit each year.
“We’re not stopped by rain. It’s a fun family event and we have different generations across the board involved. It takes a lot of volunteers to put this together each year,” Earnest said.
The Teutopolis Lions Club has been organizing the annual Halloween Parade since 1939, the year the club was founded and also the centennial year for the village.
Each year, a brigade of ghouls, ghosts, monsters and bright-eyed toddlers in cute costumes all march down Main Street to Teutopolis Grade School where the best costumes are judged. Then kids head out with parents or grandparents for trick or treat in the village.
Lineup starts at 5 p.m. in the J.B. Esker lot at Main and Green streets. The Teutopolis parade steps off at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Trick or treat lasts from 6:30 to 8 that night in Teutopolis.
There will be two grand marshals in the Halloween Parade. They are Effingham County Fair Queen Maria Leuken and County Fair Junior Miss Elizabeth Weidner. Both are daughters of Lions Club members.
Altamont’s Halloween Parade is on hiatus this year, but there will be a Trunk or Treat event from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31, at the Triangle downtown.