'Let's Make a Deal' at Edwardsville's Halloween Parade

News-DemocratOctober 30, 2013 

The Bank of Edwardsville is ready to roll with a Halloween parade float patterned off the TV game show "Let's Make a Deal."

Costumed characters will include former host Monty Hall and one of his attractive stage hostesses.

"We've got a box that looks like it's full of cash, and (a display for) a lifetime supply of soup," said Nikki Turner, community relations coordinator.

"The grand prize is a 39-inch LED TV, and starting on Nov. 1, people can go into one of our branches and register to win it."

The Edwardsville Halloween Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. today and will march from Lincoln Middle School to downtown Edwardsville.

The parade is sponsored by the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce, which has signed up 120 units, including seven marching bands. This year's theme is "Got Games?"

"Some people are going with board games or game shows," said Desiree Bennyhoff, chamber director. "Others are going the athletic route with the Olympics."

Clover Leaf Bank in Edwardsville patterned its float off the classic board game Monopoly.

Skirting resembles panels around the board's perimeter, but local businesses are substituted for Park Place and other fictitious properties.

"We have a hotel, a house, giant game pieces and two large dice that are twisting and turning like someone has just thrown them," said Kelly Wagner, assistant vice president and marketing director.

"We also have Mr. Moneybags the banker. He'll be standing outside the hotel and shooting a confetti gun, showering the crowd with confetti and streamers."

The parade attracts an estimated 25,000 spectators each year. The announcer stand will be in front of Mojo's Music, across from Madison County Courthouse.

Like last year, judging will take place during the parade instead of beforehand in Lincoln's staging area.

"The floats in this parade are out of this world," Bennyhoff said. "Some of the businesses spend months working on them. It's a really big deal for the community."

Alton Halloween Parade

The Alton Halloween Parade will begin at 7:30 tonight with about 60 units, including six marching bands.

The Grand Marshall is Dale Schaefer, a prominent member of East End Improvement Association, which sponsors the parade.

"He also has been active at his church and the Bucket Brigade, which uses donated paint to paint houses (for people in need)," said Stacy Ebrey, parade spokeswoman.

The parade attracts anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 people who line Broadway and Piasa.

Alton has been hosting the parade for 97 years. There is no designated theme, other than Halloween or fall.

"The only time the Halloween parade didn't take place was one year during World War I and one year during World War II," Ebrey said. "Rain, shine, sleet, snow ... We go no matter what. We're like the postman."

At a glance

Edwardsville Halloween Parade -- 6:30 p.m. today beginning at Lincoln Middle School and going north on West Street, east on St. Louis (which runs into Vandalia) and north on Main, ending at High.

Alton Halloween Parade -- 7:30 p.m. today beginning at Washington and Broadway and going east on Broadway and south on Piasa, ending at Ninth Street.

Information: Call the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce at 618-656-7600 for Edwardsville or Stacy Ebrey at 462-7527 for Alton.

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