Halloween Parade Is Creeping Up On Toms River

Archive: These two young ladies enjoy a ride on a float during the 82nd Annual Halloween Parade in Toms River. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  TOMS RIVER – “Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood. To terrify your neighborhood.”

  The Toms River Halloween parade is on its way, and it’s sure to be a “Thriller.”

  Starting at 7 p.m. on October 31, the parade will make its way from Highland Parkway, down Route 9, turning on Washington Street and ending at the county Administration Building. If weather or some other reason causes a postponement, the date will be Tuesday, November 1.

  Like in previous years, it is being run by the Toms River Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, while Company No. 2 provides fire coverage for the night. This will be the 83rd parade. The first one was in 1919. However, a few years in the 1930s were missed due to lack of funds. There were also no parades during some years of WWII and the pandemic. Its billed as the second largest Halloween parade in the country, falling behind Greenwich Village.

  Ken Beck, chair of the parade committee, said that they want everyone to register between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the day of the parade at the firehouse at 26 Robbins Street. The roads downtown will close at 5 p.m.

  There will be first, second, and third place trophies, he said. There will also be awards for the oldest in the parade, the youngest, and the person who had to travel the farthest. This year, there will be 11 walking and nine float divisions, he said.

Photos by Micromedia Publications

  People who want to walk in the parade should meet on Highland Parkway, not in the parking lot like last year. If you’re driving something in the parade, you should take Water Street to Highland Parkway to the area of the old Foodtown parking lot.

  There won’t be a single grand marshall for the parade. Rather, they will honor all front line health care heroes. A statement by Patrick Ahearn, Chief Executive Officer of Community Medical Center, is in the parade’s regulations book.

  “Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, CMC’s staff and physicians have treated thousands of COVID-19 patients, while safely continuing to offer care for emergencies and other medical needs. This work would not have been possible without the efforts of partners throughout our community. This includes first responders who joined us on the frontlines of the pandemic, facing tremendous, unpredicted challenges,” he said. “Toms River is home to incredible people, and the outpouring of appreciation and encouragement, from parades to signs to donated meals, helped CMC’s staff continue their fight. Compassion and resilience are a part of Toms River’s DNA; you see it in our healthcare workers and first responders, and CMC sees it in the people we serve.”

  Firefighters are also encouraging residents to join volunteer firefighting squads, or for youth to join the Boy Scouts.

  For more information, visit Facebook.com/trfcHalloweenParade