With the celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday just around the corner, the Vandalia Lions Club will recognize Lincoln’s ties to the community and the town’s rich heritage at the club’s 66th annual Halloween parade this Thursday night.
Vandalia’s Abe Lincoln, local merchant Abe Clymer, is the grand marshal for this year’s parade, which kicks off at 7 p.m. at Seventh and Gallatin streets.
As always, the parade travels east on Gallatin Street and ends at Kennedy Boulevard (Third Street).
This year’s parade will feature floats created by local clubs, organizations, churches, businesses and groups, as well as walking groups dressed up for Halloween.
Also scheduled to participate in the parade are 15 area school bands, which will be competing for cash prizes in one of two divisions, large school or small school. Judges will also vote on best color guard, best marching and maneuvering, best music and best drum major/majorette.
Floats and walking groups will be competing for cash prizes.
Cash prizes for floats are: first, Ponderosa/KFC/Taco Bell/Ramada Inn Award, $350; second, National Bank of Vandalia Award, $250; third, Octochem Award, $250; fourth, Bluff Equipment Award, $175; fifth, Ed Maag and Melanie Bowles-Edward Jones Investment Award, $125; and sixth, Wal-Mart Award, $100.
Cash prizes for walking groups are: first, First National Bank of Vandalia, Ramsey and Patoka Award, $300; second, Dennis Ehrat/Brock Brannon-Investment Centers of America Award, $150; third, Wehrle Brothers Equipment Award, $125; fourth, Vandalia Tractor Award, $100; fifth, Luallen, Cearlock and Barth Ltd. Award, $100; and sixth, Double D Plumbing Award, $100.
The top parade entry will be presented the Days Inn Excellence Award and a $400 cash prize.
There is no parade entry fee for individuals and groups who follow the Halloween theme, and pre-registration is not required. Parade entries only have to begin showing up after 5 p.m. on Thursday in the area of the former Washington School, on Eighth Street between Johnson and Edwards streets.
Non-costumed participating groups will be charged a $50 entry fee.
ATV entries are not allowed.