Annual Rotary Halloween Parade

Shelburne Halloween Parade 2018 winning float
Photo by Diana Vachon
An example of creativity with a message: the winning float at last year’s Halloween Parade.

The last Sunday of October is a colorful occasion in Shelburne Village as all ages, friends and neighbors gather to celebrate Halloween at the annual Rotary Halloween Parade.

The parade is organized by the Rotary Club of Charlotte Shelburne Hinesburg, and is the club’s largest community service project of the year. This year, the parade will take place on Oct. 27 beginning at 2 p.m. While its route lies in Shelburne, it draws young and old from the three towns that the club serves, Charlotte, Shelburne and Hinesburg, as well as many from farther away.

Kids and adults in costume parade through the heart of town alongside floats decorated by clubs, businesses, neighborhoods and creative folks. Classic car enthusiasts and sometimes horse-drawn buggies add to the fun. Kids and adults, many also in costume, line the parade route and cheer their approval.

The Halloween Parade is a tradition in Shelburne, originally instituted by the police and town leaders as a Halloween evening activity to distract from the temptations of Cabbage Night. Rotary volunteered to work with the Shelburne Parks and Recreation staff to handle the event and almost all of the club’s active members take part in some way. The Rotarians have plenty of experience, having provided the backbone of its organization for 44 years.

Parade setup begins in the Shopping Park parking lot at 12:45 p.m. as floats, vehicles and marchers arrive and get organized to line up. The parade heads out onto Falls Road at 2 p.m. The route proceeds south on Falls Road, turns left at the intersection with Marsette Road, circles through the Bacon Drive neighborhood and back to its starting point.

After the parade, the fun moves to the Shelburne Volunteer Firehouse where Rotarians serve up free hotdogs and popcorn. There will be games and presentation of prizes and musical entertainment to wrap up a beloved Shelburne tradition.

The Rotary Club of Charlotte-Shelburne-Hinesburg meets weekly at 8 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Trinity Episcopal Church in Shelburne. All are welcome.

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