Ghoulish Snowfall Fails to Sidetrack Annual Halloween Parade [VIDEO]
Crowd thinner than usual due to wintry weather.
Kristen Krzesinski’s grandparents used to bring her to the annual Halloween parade down Main Street. Now she brings her own children from Salem, N.H.
Nine members of that third generation and a group of their elders gathered on Main Street near Salem Street yesterday to watch the 57th annual parade organized by the Woburn Host Lions to benefit eye research at Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary.
By comparison, Ellen McLoughlin and her family, including her daughter, Joanne, 4, came to the parade for the first time this year. They’ve lived in the city for a while, but never came—until this year.
The parade stepped off in spite of a ghoulish pre-Halloween snowstorm Saturday night into Sunday morning. Not a huge accumulation of wet, heavy snow, but more than enough to bring trees, still heavy with leaves, down in some places, leaving people without electricity.
“The Woburn Host Lions Club has never cancelled the parade, a 57-year record,” according to Woburn Host Lions parade Chairman Bryan Murphy. “Over the years we have had rain many times, snow before and even during [but] still, we went on.”
Dean and Carole Michelini of Woburn were without electric power from 11 p.m. Saturday night to around 5 a.m. Sunday morning, Dean said as they bundled everyone into the car, parked at the high school, after the parade. The Michelinis have come to the parade since before they married, Dean said, and they tied the knot 33 years ago.
Bands, floats, many carrying costumed children, and others, including a child-size train, a group of canines and their handlers and Santa and Mrs. Claus made their way down Main Street.
Along the street, children and even some adults showed off costumes, too. One dad dressed as a skeleton cradled his new baby daughter, tucked well into a heart-decorated blanket.
The parade took about an hour to pass the Main Street intersection with Salem Street.
It was shorter than in years past, according to a number of viewers. Probably because of the unseasonable snow, they concluded.
“We enjoyed it anyway,” Krzesinski said as the extended family prepared to leave their parade spot.
Murphy said, ”This year, on the eve of the big event, with everything in place to go, the city faced the largest snowfall in history [for this date]—an epic event.”
But the parade stepped off exactly at 1 p.m., right on time.
“The crowd was a little lighter than an average year, the bucket donations a little lighter than most years, but the spirit and excitement from the people along the route made it all worthwhile for Lions members," said Murphy. "We understand that bands and spectators may have had issues getting to Woburn today. The people that live here didn't; our membership lives here as well.”
“The Lions’ motto is ‘We Serve,’" he added. "Today we served up a wonderful parade. That's what being a Lion is all about.”
Check out some of the sights and sounds of this year’s parade at right. If you have your own photo to share, you can add it to our parade gallery here.