Metro-east ghosts and goblins will be busy the next few days, celebrating Halloween with trick-or-treating, costume contests, small daytime parades in several towns and large nighttime parades in Alton and Edwardsville.
Most notably, this is the 100th anniversary of the Halloween parade in Alton, which calls itself the “Most Haunted Small Town in America” and attracts tourists from all over the country with its tours of haunted houses and businesses.
“The parade will consist of over 80 units, including 40 floats, 20 emergency vehicles, seven to 10 marching bands, a jazz band, local musicians, marchers in costume, dignitaries and other attractions,” said committee member Sue McCoy. “It’s a big deal.”
This year, we’re honoring all of the parade marshals, so instead of having one parade marshal, we’ll have 20.
Sue McCoy on Alton Halloween Parade
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The first parade, sponsored by East End Improvement Association, took place in 1916 in conjunction with a Halloween Ball at Alton Turners Hall. The city skipped a couple years during World War II.
“This year, we’re honoring all of the parade marshals,” Sue said. “So instead of having one parade marshal, we’ll have 20.”
Marchers will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Broadway and Washington streets, go west on Broadway and right on Piasa, ending at Ninth Street. For more information, call 618-462-7527. Below is a list of other metro-east Halloween activities in chronological order:
Swansea pumpkin-decorating contest
Children can drop off painted, carved or decorated pumpkins at Sycamore Village Community, 225 Castellano Dr. in Swansea, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday for a Pumpkin Decorating Contest. There will be cash prizes in two categories: Ages 8 and under and 9 to 12. Winners will be announced during a Halloween party with trick-or-treating from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 618-222-2571.
SWIC Trunk or Treat
Southwestern Illinois College will hold the SWIC Trunk or Treat at 6 p.m. Friday in parking lot M3/M4 on the Belleville campus, 2500 Carlyle Ave. Kids can go trick-or-treating and enjoy fun activities in a safe environment at no charge. The Culinary Arts Club will raise money by serving dinner. Festivities are sponsored by the Student Veterans Association and College Activities Board. For more information, call Jeff Blue at 618-235-2700, ext. 5442.
Downtown Belleville trick-or-treating
Children can go trick-or-treating on East Main Street in downtown Belleville between High and Charles streets from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday. It’s limited to ages 12 and under in costume who are accompanied by parents or guardians. There will be hot dogs, treats, Eckert’s Farm wagon rides, Survive Alive House tours and more. No pets, bicycles, or skateboards allowed. For more information, call 618-233-6518, ext 1245.
Caseyville Halloween party
Caseyville is hosting its Halloween party from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday in the Caseyville Community Building, 909 S. Main St., Caseyville. Free admission. Game tickets are 4 for $1. There will be a hay ride, weather permitting. Dress for a costume contest. Get a Halloween picture for $4. Hot dogs, chili, chili dogs, soda and chips provided by Caseyville Fire Auxiliary. Receive one special raffle ticket if you bring a can of food or make a money donation to Casyville Food Pantry.
Turkey Hill murder mystery
Turkey Hill Players will perform “Polter-Heist,” a murder-mystery drama with audience participation, at Turkey Hill Grange, Green Mount Road and Illinois 15 in Belleville. Grange cooks will serve dinner. The performance will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $25 per person or $45 per couple. For more information or reservations, call 618-236-9667 or 618-233-6254 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wood River Halloween Parade
The annual Wood River Halloween Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Emerick Sports Complex, Sixth Street and Park Lane. It will go south on Sixth, west on Ferguson and north on Wood River Avenue, ending at Central Park. This is a children’s parade, sponsored by Wood River Firefighters Association. A costume contest will follow at Wood River Round House, 633 N. Wood River Ave. For more information, call 618-251-3130.
Halloween in Columbia
The Columbia Hi-Jinks and Scare Square will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday in downtown Columbia. Children can go trick-or-treating at businesses along Main Street and participate in other fun activities in the City Hall parking lot and Fountain Park. A costume contest will begin at noon. For more information, call 618-281-7144, ext. 134.
Edwardsville Halloween festivities
Edwardsville will hold a children’s Halloween costume contest Saturday at the City Park bandstand. Contestants need to register by 11:30 a.m. for judging at noon. There will be categories for different ages, as well as pets. The contest will be followed by trick-or-treating at businesses along Main Street. Other activities include a Suzuki strings performance at 11 a.m. and free photos by Walgreens in the park. For more information, call Edwardsville Parks and Recreation at 618-692-7538.
O’Fallon Halloween celebration
O’Fallon will kick off the Rotary Halloween Parade with costumed marchers and decorated bicycles and wagons at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the corner of State and Vine streets. They will go west on State, south on Oak and east on First, ending at Santa Hut. At the end, officials will announce winners of the costume contest and a Rotary raffle for a new truck to benefit Habitat for Humanity ($50 tickets). Also, trick-or-treating will take place from noon to 3 p.m. at participating downtown businesses, along with photos by the red caboose. For more information, visit www.downtownofallon.org or www.ofallonrotary.org.
Hartford Halloween Parade
The Hartford Halloween Parade will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at Hartford Senior Citizens Center, 715 N. Delmar. It will go south on Delmar and end at Hartford Park. Anyone can show up in a costume and walk in the parade or pull a float (line up at 12:15 p.m.). For more information, call 618-251-2680, ext. 2314.
Mascoutah Halloween Parade
The Mascoutah Halloween Parade will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Moose Lodge, corner of Church and Second streets. It will go east on Church and north on Market, ending with free food, children’s games and a costume contest at Leu Civic Center, 213 N. Market. Prizes for best children’s costumes will be divided in the categories of Most Original, Super Hero/Cartoon Characters, Princess/Fairy and Groups of Two or More. Adults can compete in the Super Hero category. For more information, call 618-566-2175.
Bel-Air Bowl in Belleville will host Doctoberfest from 2 p.m. to midnight Sunday with a pig roast and live music on the deck from 2 to 6 p.m. That will be followed by a Halloween dance from 7 p.m. to midnight in the Regency Room with Dr. Tom’s Phantom Band and more than 25 guest musicians and singers playing hits from the ’50s to’90s. All ages welcome; costumes optional. Free chili and cash bar. Passes available for food and entertainment from $10 to $20. Free admission after 8 p.m. For more information, call 618-578-9765.
Lebanon Witches Night Out
Women will gather in downtown Lebanon from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday for Witches Night Out. They’re encouraged to wear costumes or witch hats while they browse in local shops decked out for Halloween. Costumes will be judged at 8 p.m. with prizes for Best Witch, Scariest Witch, Best Hat, Broom and Cackle. The event also will feature music by the Social Remedy Band, wine from Hidden Lake Winery, vendors and food. No children, please.
Troy church Tent or Treat
Troy United Methodist Church will host its Tent or Treat from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Children can collect treats by walking from canopy to canopy at an indoor event for the whole family. The church is at 407 Edwardsville Road in Troy For more information, call 618-667-6241
St. Clair Square Halloween
St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights will allow trick-or-treating by children ages 12 and under from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday at businesses with welcome signs in their windows while supplies last. Children are asked not to wear masks or bring toy weapons, and adults are asked not to wear costumes. For more information, call 618-632-7567.
Waterloo Trunk or Treat
Waterloo will host its annual Trunk or Treat and Halloween Check Point from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday. Children can go trick-or-treating by walking past cars parked along Main Street and get their photos taken for free. Waterloo Fire Department will offer a candy checkpoint, as well as free hot dogs, popcorn and soft drinks. Activities are sponsored by local churches, Monroe County Emergency Medical Services and Waterloo police and fire departments.
Belleville church hospitality station
Belleville trick-or-treaters and their parents are welcome to stop by Calvary Lutheran Church from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday. “Not-so-wicked” Witch Sadie wants to see their “bootiful” costumes and tricks. She will serve her “witch’s brew,” also known as hot chocolate. The church is at 6606 W. Main St. For more information, call 618-397-4989 or email to email@example.com
Edwardsville Halloween Parade
The annual Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce Halloween Parade will march through town beginning at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Floats, bands and other units will leave Lincoln Middle School parking lot at Schwarz and West and go north on West, east on St. Louis and Vandalia and north on Main, ending at High Street. This year’s theme is “TV Classics.” For more information, call 618-656-7600.