After a year when most were canceled due to the pandemic, Halloween celebrations in the Susquehanna Valley are planned to be back in 2021.
Halloween parades and events are a special occasion for many Valley residents because it is a great chance for families to reconvene, for friends to catch up, and for children to have a great time and collect lots of candy — and coupons for their parents.
Selinsgrove Halloween Parade: Tuesday, Oct. 19 from 7 to 9 p.m.
The Selinsgrove Halloween Parade is a great night of fun for children and adults. The event is led by Selinsgrove Projects, Inc., but Chris Kenawell is the guy in charge, with some help from his friends at the Selinsgrove State Farm agency.
Kenawell has been one of the lead planners for the Selinsgrove Halloween Parade for about 18 years, according to Carol Handlan, vice president of SPI. She said Chris does everything from collecting registrations and raising money for the parade to organizing the judging for floats. He always has the help of several volunteers who work to get everyone moving on parade night. Beginning at Graci’s Flowers & Gifts, next to CVS, the parade will proceed south on Market Street to the Sunoco station.
The annual Halloween Parade helps to acquaint residents and newcomers with the local shops of Selinsgrove, according to Kenawell. The Selinsgrove Area Intermediate and High School bands are always involved in the celebration and have dressed in clever costumes year after year. Everyone is wondering what costumes they will choose this year.
When it comes to float judging, there are two categories: non-profit groups and business-related companies. If a non-profit wins “Best Float of the Bunch,” their prize is $100. The first place winner in the business category receives a $50 prize.
Kenawell said his team of assistants at his State Farm Agency are familiar with what to do to make the parade happen, and they cover most of the work. Most importantly, they enjoy it.
According to Kenawell, the State Farm organization has donated a grant of $500 to Selinsgrove Projects Inc. for at least 15 years to recognize the work of the Kenawell State Farm Agency and its employees.
Northumberland Halloween Parade: Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.
Northumberland is excited about the return of its annual Halloween Parade, which will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 27. The parade will form at King Street Park at 6 p.m. and will step off at 7 p.m. Leaving the park, it will travel up 2nd Street, turn left onto Orange Street, left again onto 6th Street, make another left onto Queen Street, and make one final turn onto Front Street — ending at the park.
“In general, (the parade) brings the community together and I think we haven’t had a lot of that, especially recently,” said Noelle Long, who is part of 17857.org, a local revitalization group that handles programs and events throughout the year. “It’s something that people really look forward to,” she added. The group took over the Northumberland Parade planning a few years ago.
Long finds that the Halloween Parade in Northumberland not only unites the community, but also is a great opportunity for businesses and local legislators to self-promote and for groups to “show off their creativity.”
In past years, parade floats were judged in a variety of categories. Long said that the parade does not follow a traditional first, second and third place, but instead, judges on other new, more creative categories such as “Cutest,” or “Most Original.” In 2019, according to Long, a float won in the category of “Most Likely to Scare Kids Out of Candy.”
Long said that the parade committee will continue to adhere to any COVID mitigation regulations when organizing the parade. “If anything, I think COVID has taught us that we have to be flexible and we need to think outside the box to ensure that everyone is safe,” she added. “We can still do events — they just may have to be done differently.”
People can register for the parade at the borough office at 175 Orange St., at the gazebo the evening of the parade, or online (link will be available closer to the date on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Norry17857).
Danville Halloween Parade: Thursday, Oct. 28: 7 p.m.
The Danville Halloween Parade will be held Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. rain or shine. It will begin to form at 5:30 p.m. at the soccer complex on East Market Street. Then, it will move down East Market to Mill Street where it will turn right and proceed down Mill to Lower Mulberry Street before disbanding, according to Deanna Force, co-chair of the parade committee.
According to Force, who with co-chair Jason Bird is leading the parade planning, thousands of people typically line the streets of Danville for the Halloween Parade.
A parade committee meeting in July worked to address COVID-19 fears and keeping the community safe while continuing the tradition, after a canceled parade in 2020. “We are moving to a bigger area to form and will do our best to continue to watch what is going on with COVID cases and counts and proceed as safely as possible,” Force said. “As always if people feel safer, they can mask up.”
Force said she hopes the parade will highlight local restaurants and small businesses in Danville so they can gain some attention, and therefore, more customers, from the parade. She also believes it is a great opportunity for people who don’t always see each other to chat and catch up as they wait along the parade route.
To bring the parade back in 2021 is a big deal to Force and the Danville parade committee. She looks forward to finding out what themes people choose this year, with Heroes being a relevant and likely contender.
“To the committee, it’s an honor to be able to do this again, especially for the children. They need to be able to get back to some sense of normalcy,” Force added. “For the community, it’s a way of showing and saying that the pandemic and COVID didn’t win, and we are back stronger than before.”
Reign of Terror Entertainment’s Halloween Masquerade Ball and Concert at Milton Shoe Factory: Saturday, Oct. 30 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Doors open at 6 p.m.
This is an event any one who really loves the “darkish” side of Halloween will not want to miss. Tickets begin at $25 and are sold exclusively on Eventbrite. If you wait to purchase yours, that price will increase to $50 at the door. VIP tickets are also available for $75. Attendees must be wearing either a costume or all black to enter the masquerade ball and concert, and you must be at least 21 years old to attend.
The evening will feature bands such as Destruct Principle, Saving Vice, two female DJs whose stage names are Stygian and Circuit Witch, fire performers, and aerial performers on chains. The event will be held at 700 Hepburn St. in Milton at the building that was formerly the Milton Shoe Factory. There is no definitive word on whether or not it is haunted.
This event had its beginning when Greg Carl’s business, Reign of Terror Entertainment, staged a gigantic yard display of characters and decorations on Carl’s front yard as a Halloween treat for kids. It has morphed into a five-hour indoor event, “The Dead of Night” Masquerade Ball and Concert, which is for adults only. This is the fourth year for the Ball, but, of course, last year was cancelled due to the pandemic, so it’s the third Ball and Concert.
The idea for “Dead of Night” began when Carl met the owner of the Milton Shoe Factory building. He asked the owner whether it was possible to stage events in the building. When permission was granted, Carl went to work to create “Dead of Night.”
Carl describes the event’s music as industrial, electronic, EDM, and gothic-style — appropriate for the occasion. “Some of it is on the harder, darker side, but it’s definitely meant to be dance-type of music,” Carl said. “It’s a crazy good time.” He added, “if you remotely enjoy any of these things: DJs, bands, you know, theatrical stuff, this is the thing to go to.”
Catawissa Halloween Parade: Saturday, Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
The Catawissa Halloween Parade has been an uninterrupted tradition since 1907, even throughout the years of war, according to the parade committee’s president, Janice Longenberger. The committee found a way to allow for a smaller parade to take place in 2020, but they are looking forward to a bigger and better year in 2021. The theme for this year’s parade is “Wild, Wild West” and registration can be accomplished by calling 570-784-6378 or 570-274-3421.
“We’ve been going strong for 114 years,” Longenberger said. “Last year, we did the distancing. Our motto last year was, ‘It’s Halloween, wear a mask.’ We kind of made a little fun out of a bad situation.”
Longenberger, who deems herself a “Catawissa girl at heart,” calls the parade a homecoming for many people. She said former residents often come back to Catawissa to reunite with friends and family, sometimes hosting parties at their homes before and after the parade. The parade is a tradition in her family as her father served as a member of the Catawissa Halloween Parade committee, too.
The group begins planning as early as March, said Longenberger, and there are many fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for the event. This year’s fundraiser was the Catawissa Fire Company’s carnival in August: the sale of T-shirts also helped raise funds.
Although the pandemic limited fundraising for the parade, Longenberger said they are still doing well financially, thanks to the help of donations. Currently, the parade committee in Catawissa has only two full-time members, but they have many valuable volunteers.
“It’s a tradition that I just want to continue,” Longenberger said. “I used to go to the parade when I was a little kid and now I’m bringing my grandchildren.”
She believes vendors, nonprofit organizations and local shops benefit from the attention they receive in the Catawissa Parade. Longenberger can’t wait to close the parade circle that began with planning and will end with the parade on Oct. 30.
“We are there to allow people to have a good time,” Longenberger added. “And to bring some smiles and joy to people, just for a brief hour for part of their year. The atmosphere that night gets very electric.”
Hallo-Fun at Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg: beginning Oct. 8, the park will host visitors on Fridays from 5 until 9 p.m.; Saturdays from 2 until 9 p.m.; and Sundays from Noon — 5 p.m. Ends Oct. 31
Hallo-Fun features fall fun for the whole family. Guests will find festive decorations, fall foods, special entertainment, a selection of rides — some of which take on a Halloween twist, and more.
Guests can purchase ride passes, and take part in a free scavenger hunt for children. Guests looking to get a jump start on the day can participate in morning activities beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. Sundays, including pumpkin painting and cookie decorating and more.
There is never an admission or parking fee at Knoebels Amusement Resort.
Lewisburg Children’s Museum’S Munchkins and Pumpkins: Saturday, Oct. 30, beginning at 10 a.m.
The Munchkins and Pumpkins Program at the Lewisburg Children's Museum will be held Saturday, October 30 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event is weather-permitting since it will take place in the courtyard.
Children should dress in their favorite costume to enjoy space-themed STEM stations. Munchkins and Pumpkins is included with membership or general admission.
Halloween 2020 required a different path for celebrating. The folks at the museum participated in the Downtown’s Market Street Mask-a-Raid and collaborated with Bucknell University’s Chemistry Department to co-host the virtual Chemistry Halloween Show. The museum also hosted a pumpkin decorating contest.
While some of the details of our event are still being planned, updates are available at lewisburgchildrensmuseum.org. The museum continues to mask at both indoor and outdoor events in an effort to be as safe as possible.