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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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More Than 60 Units Participate in Bartow Halloween Parade

by James Coulter

More than 60 units including floats, decorated vehicles, marching bands, and dance troupes marched through Downtown Bartow for the annual Bartow Halloween Parade.

Several local businesses and organizations participated in the parade, including the Bartow City Staff and Chamber of Commerce, several local schools like Summerlin Academy, and even fire, rescue, and law enforcement agencies. Even the honorable Sheriff Grady Judd himself attended with his fellow officers from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

The parade started at First Avenue on the east side of town, traveled west along Main Street through the downtown area, and headed south along Broadway Avenue to Mosaic Park.

Awaiting participants and attendees of the parade at the Bartow Civic Center was the second portion of the event, which was the Annual Halloween Carnival. Several dozen vendors offered arts, crafts, and carnival-style games for attendees to enjoy, and food trucks served food and refreshments. Attendees could also participate in a bingo game, cake walk, and costume contest.

Both the parade and the carnival drew nearly a thousand visitors to Downtown Bartow and Mosaic Park. Jennifer Hall, the event coordinator, even mentioned seeing several people setting up their seats earlier that morning to watch the parade that afternoon.

“We [had] wonderful weather [that day], so I [had] great expectations,” she said. “I was driving through downtown earlier this morning, and there was already a bunch of chairs already set up and spaces. So, it is very exciting that a lot of people are excited for the parade.”

For more than 75 years, the annual Halloween parade and carnival have been a traditional holiday staple for Bartow. The event had been organized by the Crickette Club. However, these events were canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic, and once the pandemic ended, not enough members from the Crickette Club were available to host the event.

“Crickette Club did not have the membership,” Hall said. “It takes about 70 or 80 people to pull this off. We got together with the service clubs…We all came together and divided the events and were able to pull off a great carnival last year and this year.”

Hall loves how this annual Halloween tradition draws people together, both from within and outside the city. So, it only made sense for people to come together and host it.

“What I would say it is about the community coming together,” Hall said. “It is a family-friendly fun event, a way to come together and have a good time.”

author avatar
Staff Reporter

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