PERTH AMBOY — Bright red and golden leaves are falling. Carved Halloween pumpkins and funny scary decorations are appearing all around Perth Amboy suggesting that the Halloween Day Parade and Costume Contest are just around the corner.
On Saturday, Oct. 30, at 11 a.m., Perth Amboy residents — including children of all ages and adults — are encouraged to don their costumes, paint their faces or put on their masks and head to the Perth Amboy Train Station on Smith Street, where the annual Parade and Costume Contest will begin.
“The parade and costume contest is one of the city’s most popular events,” said Kenneth Ortiz, superintendent of the Office of Recreation. “Hundreds of people dress up to participate in the parade, and hundreds more come to watch.”
From 11 a.m. to noon, while participants line up for the parade in their respective categories — “Scariest,” “Funniest” and “Prettiest” — judges, comprised mostly of city residents, will be holding a pre-judging session.
At noon, the parade, led by Mayor Wilda Diaz and the police and fire departments, will embark on its brief march east on Smith Street to the “Five Corners” of Smith and State Streets where stacks of hay, pumpkins, ghosts and other Halloween decorations, will be the exciting stage for the costume contest.
Children will be delighted by scary music, a Halloween witch from Tickles Entertainment who will perform magic tricks, fortune telling, face painting and “scarcely” frightening stories.
Last year, the parade and costume contest attracted 700 to 800 residents, 400 to 500 of whom participated in the judging. This year, event coordinators expect even a bigger turnout. The costume contest judges will select 18 winners, six in each category, including two for children, two for teenagers and two for adults. Contest winners will receive gift certificates provided by the sponsors.
The Perth Amboy Halloween Day Parade and Costume contest provides an opportunity to inform parents and children of safety measures that should be implemented during the holiday and to warn children about the adverse effects of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. The parade, held in the business improvement district, promotes downtown businesses and highlights the activity on Smith Street.
The parade is coordinated and partially funded by the Office of Recreation and is co-sponsored by the Perth Amboy Municipal Alliance to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, as they bring to a close this year’s Red Ribbon Week celebration for a drug-free city. Local businesses, such as Robert Fiance Beauty School, City Dance Academy, Glass Gardens ShopRite, Portuguese Manor, WellCare, Raritan Bay Area-YMCA and Ferrara Bakery, among others helped sponsor the event.
In addition, businesses and organizations will promote their products and services via booths and tables.
“In recent years, several municipalities have had to do away with such events as budgets have been slashed,” said Mayor Wilda Diaz. “However, I’m proud to say that Perth Amboy is able to continue to hold events such as this with the sponsorship of local businesses and by volunteer groups like School Based Youth Services and Recreation volunteer that give hours of their time to assist us.”
For more information, call Kenneth Ortiz, superintendent of the Office of Recreation, at 1-732-826-1690 ext. 4306.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!