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Del Ray Halloween Parade Canceled

Organizers said concern for safety and welfare of neighbors and participants in the face of Hurricane Sandy prompted the cancellation. However, some related events are still being held.

The Del Ray Halloween Parade is canceled for the first time in its storied history.

The Del Ray Business Association announced the cancellation Friday morning after consulting with city officials about the looming Hurricane Sandy and the effects it could have on the area. The governor declared Virginia in a state of emergency on Friday morning in preparation for the Frankenstorm.

“After consultation with city officials and reviewing the potential for rain during parade times and strong winds and with our primary concern being for the safety and welfare of our neighbors and participants, the decision to cancel was reached,” said a statement from parade Co-chairs Gayle Reuter and Carol Bailey.

The parade was scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

However, all is not lost. Several other related events are still happening:

  • Distribution of Halloween costumes to those children who otherwise would go without still will take place Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave.
  • Judging and awarding of prizes for the Best Decorated Home will take place. Look for announcements of the winners on the Visit Del Ray Facebook site, on listservs, on Del Ray Patch and in newspapers.
  • Judging and Awarding of the Best Decorated Business will still take place and be awarded at the November Del Ray Business Association membership meeting.
  • Parade organizers ask you to share photos of what would have been your entries in the Best Decorated Stroller or Best Pet Costume. Please share or post the on the Facebook site Visit Del Ray.

Please mark your calendar’s for next year’s parade: Oct. 27, 2013.

Carrie October 28, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Paula, I'm not sure why you think that folks are not interested in this discussion just because you are not (plus you did read and post on them too). Most of the folks posting have been positive and appropriate about a disappointing situation, but I am still curious to know what factors went into the decision. We've been looking forward to the event for a year and have family in town for the marathon whose children came with costumes and were also excited. I'm not saying the ultimate decision was the wrong one, but am interested in the factors that were considered. Perhaps looking at the factors will help organizers make future calls or planning. For example, is having a pre-arranged alternate date even feasible? Could there be a reduced event inside or would the business sponsors not be in favor of that (since presumably it would not give the added street presence)? What is our contract with the city like for these events and when do we need to make the call in order to not be charged the full fare? It is about the kids, but as a disappointed parent, I can still care about the decision-making process.
Nancy Drane October 28, 2012 at 05:25 PM
These criticisms are really uncalled for. We are all disappointed - most especially the organizers, I'm sure. None of us can predict the weather exactly and they made the best decision with what information they had. Imagine if they decided to have it and the forecast for today got worse - not better. These people volunteer countless hours to make del ray the special place it is, and we all benefit from it. I am thankful for all they do... Nancy (East Nelson Avenue)
Del Ray Snob October 29, 2012 at 03:32 AM
I'm reposting from just a minute ago from another section of The Patch: There are several clusters of large metal barriers, (the kind they use to block of side streets during Art on the Avenue) all up and down Mt. Vernon Avenue tonight. I imagine they were staged there in anticipation of blocking off the side streets for the Halloween Parade that was cancelled. They are not tied down to anything. If the wind does gust up to 60+ MPH tomorrow and those are not removed in time, I can imagine those things are going to do serious damage to most of the windows and vehicles on Mt. Vernon Ave. I phoned the police Non-Emergency number tonight and was told that the Watch Commander would be told. However, I'm unsure of who's problem this is. Does anyone know who put those barriers there? If so, they are going to be an EXTREME hazard to life and property if not tied down or removed. They sit in clusters of five at several locations up and down the avenue. Thanks.
Gayle R. October 29, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Please note that all the metal barriers/bike racks have just been picked up by the Sheriff's Department. Special thanks to Dana Lawhorne who immediately dispatched his staff to get them after we contacted him. Hopefully we can all keep our First Responders and City Staff in our thoughts and prayers as they currently and will continue to be out there during this Hurricane.
Don Posson October 30, 2012 at 01:49 PM
I think the OVERLY disappointed parents are the real spoiled kids in this situation. I look forward to thia parade every year myself but as a responsible adult I realize we put responsible adults in charge of these things to make a very hard call to protect the health and welfare of our children. I salute the decision of those folks who put in so many hours on this, I look forward to next years parade and wish the rest of the negative folks will jump in next year of their couches and actually take on a significant roll to help make this event even better next year!

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