Halloween is the season for costumes and candy, ghouls and ghosts and glowing carved pumpkins of every design.
And, like it’s fellow holiday brethren, Halloween is also the season for parades.
Downtown State College was the scene for the yearly Halloween parade for area residents. Children, adults and families of all ages brought out their costumed best for a cool Sunday evening stroll down College Avenue.
This year marked the 69th parade for the borough, according to Parks and Recreation Director Ron Woodhead. Hundreds filled the street, as paraders and spectators, to see their favorite characters and the creativity of participants.
One group of State College youths — Tori Robinson, 15, Katherine Shenk, 14, Ethan Palmer, 14, and Victoria Shenk, 9 — constructed their own Mystery Machine van out of cardboard. Carrying it through the parade. The four depicted the Scooby Doo gang, with Tori as Velma, Katherine as Shaggy, Ethan as Fred and Victoria as Daphne.
“We wanted to do something crazy,” Katherine said. “This year, we were watching cartoons and thought, let’s do Scooby Doo!”
Katherine and Victoria’s mother, Lisa, said they’ve been part of the parade for several years now, as Katherine always tries to come up with something new and brings her friends along.
“I like seeing all the costumes,” Tori said, “and seeing what people come up with.”
Costumes ran the gamut of possibilities, so much so that the parade was divided into 11 sections. Divided into groups like “cartoons and superheroes,” “zombies and vampires” and “open class” gave everyone a chance to show off their genre, with witches, skeletons, Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man with ghosts, dogs dressed as dinosaurs, a lava lamp and even a CATA bus.
Alistair and Lindsay Whitton were veterans, having participated in the parade for several years now. The whole family, including Brener, 6, Carter, 5, and Jagger, 2 months, suited up as the Avengers.
In past years, Lindsay said, the family has gone as characters from Toy Story, the Wizard of Oz and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The parade was headed off by the State College Area High School band and wound down West College Avenue and South Allen Street before ending at Memorial Field. Each section was judged with prizes going to first through fourth place for each group.
Recreation Supervisor Beth Lee said preparations for the parade start early, as pulling together more than 40 volunteers takes time. She credited the hard work of the Lions Club, who provided the prize money as well as treat bags for all who participated.
“The weather couldn’t be better,” Lee said. “And even though we’re done, people still like to hang out at the field and listen to the band. It’s just a great night out.”