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Cancelled for two years of the pandemic, Ashland children's Halloween parade returns Monday

People in Halloween costumes bang on hand drums and shake maracas as they march down a street in a parade
Graham Lewis
Ashland Chamber of Commerce
Parade-goers march in the 2018 Halloween parade

After a two-year hiatus, Ashland’s much-loved Halloween parade returns this Monday.

Ashland residents love two things: showing off their creativity and marching in parades. This year families can once again don their costumes and march down East Main Street in the children’s Halloween parade.

The tradition dates back to at least the early 90’s, and draws thousands of ghosts and goblins during normal years.

“It really is a wonderful thing to be able to come back together as a community," says Travel Ashland Director Katharine Cato. "To have the parade, have the family traditions and the costumes. The amazing creativity of Ashland comes alive.”

Cato recalls everything from costumed animals to chefs to gumball machines.

“We have seen them all," she says. "I think some that stick out in my memory are families, like the whole family has a thematic element. They’re really creative."

The parade’s sometimes rowdy nature has led to calls for its cancellation in the past, but organizers have worked to keep the focus on kids. Children and families are expected to march in the front, with adults bringing up the rear.

The Halloween parade will be led by “Samba Like it Hot,” a local Brazilian carnival-style band that’s been a staple of the event for years.

The parade begins at 3:30 p.m. on Monday at the Ashland Public Library and ends at the Downtown Plaza. Cato says after the parade, there will be dance performances and trick or treating at local businesses.

Roman Battaglia is a regional reporter for Jefferson Public Radio. After graduating from Oregon State University, Roman came to JPR as part of the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism in 2019. He then joined Delaware Public Media as a Report For America fellow before returning to the JPR newsroom.