Newark cancels Halloween parade with tradition of costumed politicians
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 12:10
As Hurricane Sandy invades Newark, what would have been Newark’s 65th annual Halloween Parade has been canceled. The parade, slotted for Sunday, usually requires all political participants to wear costumes as a part of one of its traditions.
Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Joe Spadafino says in the 16 years he has worked for the Newark department, this is only the second time the parade has been canceled.
“We thought it was in best interest to give groups early notice,” Spadafino says. “A lot of groups had called in and canceled already because they knew the weather wasn’t going to be good, and a lot of groups wanted to know before they spent time and money on costumes.”
The event cancellation was announced Friday afternoon in order to give Newark residents time to prepare for the storm and any impending damages. According to the city’s website, “city officials cited that it was necessary to cancel the event now so that staff scheduled to work the event will be available for citywide storm preparations.”
Spadafino says the parade will be “sorely missed” by the community this year, as it has been a staple for Newark residents since 1947. Every year, the parade has up to 100 groups participate, and as many as 2,000 people attend, says Spadafino.
Ricky Nietubicz, the Downtown Newark Partnership administrator, says he shares Spadafino’s sentiments and believes the parade is a beloved community tradition.
“It’s important for the Newark community to have a sense of community, simple as that,” Nietubicz says. “It’s good for everybody to come out and enjoy their town, whether it be a Sunday afternoon, during the summer, or at any time the community can come out and enjoy all Newark has to offer.”
With the election approaching, politicians like State Representative Democratic Nominee for the 23rd District of Delaware Paul Baumbach, says he intended on utilizing the parade as an opportunity to interact with the Newark residents.
Baumbauch and his campaign volunteers say they planned on wearing super hero superhero costumes, complete with red capes, Clark Kent glasses and shirts with the slogan “Moving forward, giving back.”
“We knew we wanted to dress up for the parade and wanted to create a costume that was reasonable but also something current in pop culture, and I think the super hero idea is just that,” Baumbach says. “Our super power is super vision.”
Spadafino says political figures have always had a presence at the Halloween parade, noting that Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) has attended every parade since being an elected official. In past years, Carper dressed up as Fred Flintstone, Abraham Lincoln and Frankenstein.