Halloween Festivities Chestertown Style
By Kim Uslin
Elm Staff Writer
WC students ushered in the autumn season with the celebration of the Chestertown Halloween Parade and “Fall Fair in the Square.” While the weather seemed to suggest more winter wonderland than haunted Halloween, the campus and Chestertown community were still able to enjoy the festivities and embrace the feeling of fall. The festivities were originally planned to begin on Saturday morning with the Chestertown Halloween parade, but the parade was postponed due to inclement weather. Enjoying warmer and more autumn like weather the following day, parade participants and observers alike convened on High Street on Sunday afternoon to celebrate the holiday.
The Halloween parade was small but festive. Members of WC and the Chestertown community came together to enjoy the day with onlookers ranging in age from costume-clad infants to elderly members of the community. The parade was led by WC’s own Gus the Goose, accompanied by First Lady Elisabeth Reiss dressed in a witch’s costume. WC retained a strong presence throughout the parade. Participating organizations included Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, Men’s Baseball, Best Buddies, Cleopatra’s Sisters, the College Republicans, Habitat for Humanity, Men’s Lacrosse, the Service Council, and Zeta Tau Alpha.
Other participants in the parade included the Kent County Marching Band (and their mascot, the Crab), Shared Opportunities, FFA, and various floats representing local schools and sports teams. The central event of the parade was the costume contest, which featured Preschool, Elementary, Middle, and High School/Adult categories. Costumes ranged from adorable little princesses, to grim reapers, to a hilarious representation of Toddlers and Tiaras. The entire ordeal was presided over by an endearing and amusing announcer, who kept onlookers entertained with his commentary.
The parade concluded with the awards ceremony, which gave cash prizes for the best-decorated parking meter, best costumes by age group, and best group and float entries. After a waiting period in which the judges deliberated and “the drama became intense” and “the suspense was unbearable,” the award recipients were recognized.
WC Men’s Lacrosse received first in the group contest, with second place being awarded to the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi. First place in the float category was awarded to Best Buddies and the Kent Center’s beach-themed float, with second and third going to the children of Pop Warner Youth Football and Cheerleading and Shared Opportunities, respectively.
A campus-wide e-mail recognized those who participated in or attended the parade. “Members of the Lion’s Club and other members of the community have expressed their gratefulness and enthusiasm in seeing nearly 150 Washington College students come out to support the community and interact with the children both watching and participating in the parade,” said senior Lindsay Dodd.
The celebration of fall continued later that evening with the “Fall Fair in the Square.” The Festival was originally intended to take place in Martha Washington Square, but the threat of rain pushed it inside to the Hodson Student Center. Hosted by Residence Life, the Festival consisted of food, decorations, music and various activities celebrating Halloween and the autumn season.
“It was a very well developed, organized, and executed event,” said Smaa Koraym, a resident assistant in Chester. Resident assistants and students alike were pleased with the success of the Festival.
Residence Life hosted a raffle, with prizes including Halloween-themed gift baskets and the grand prize, an inflatable Frankenstein. The Service Council collected donations for Unicef, and Psi Chi sponsored a table where students could bob for apples or participate in a ‘ghost race.’ The Anthropology club had a table where students could purchase an herb satchel meant to promote health, love, or sleep or learn about the history of witches and witchcraft. The Festival offered an entertaining break in Sunday-night studying and allowed students to indulge in several fall favorites, such as hot apple cider and caramel apples.