An annual tradition returns tonight to Medford’s Main Street: the annual Halloween Parade presented by the Medford-Vincentown Rotary Club!
For the past seventy-six years, the Medford-Vincentown Rotary Club has organized this event to provide a safe, fun activity for Medford neighbors of all ages to enjoy along the picturesque sidewalks of our historic downtown. In 1947, the Township approached the Rotary Club with the request to have an alternative event to some of the Halloween & Mischief Night shenanigans that took place in previous years, and the members organized a parade inspired by the wave of patriotism that was prevalent in the years following World War II.
The first Medford Halloween Parades may have been only a few floats, costumed marchers, a handful of fire engines, and a band – but over the years this event has evolved into a labor of love for the Rotary Club to include over forty hand-built floats, marching bands from all over the entire region, hundreds of costumed marchers, fire apparatus from departments throughout Burlington County, and an average of 20,000 spectators on Medford’s Main Street.
The parade starts at 7:00 p.m.; however, Medford’s Main Street closes to traffic at 6:00 p.m. at the latest. The parade route is one mile long, starting from St. Mary’s of the Lakes School east onto Firehouse Lane before turning right onto North Main Street. The parade continues on North Main Street, through the center of the downtown village at Main & Union Streets, and onto South Main Street. After passing the shops along South Main Street, the parade crosses the bridge at Tomlinson Park before making a right into Maurice and Everett Haines School and ending in their parking lot.
Our recommendation is to arrive early, as street closures and large crowds fill local parking areas quickly, and plan on staking out an area near the Gazebo on North Main Street or near the Community Center on South Main Street. Both areas offer ample space to help the crowd spread out with easy access to Main Street shops, restaurants, and breweries for refreshment or a break from the crowds.
The practice of leaving chairs as “placeholders” prior to today is a common sight, but updates from the Medford Police Department have discouraged this “tradition” since it creates hazards for pedestrians and traffic well before the parade events begin tonight. Many chairs that were placed along the parade route prior to this morning will likely be removed by Township Public Works sometime later this morning.
About the Rotary Club
The Rotary Club of Medford-Vincentown is part of a global organization of over 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. The local members personify the global values of “service above self” and are the driving force behind not only the annual Halloween Parade but scholarships, charity events, food drives, and numerous good works throughout our community. The Medford Halloween Parade is the largest event organized by club members, and 100% of the support of parade sponsors and local businesses helps fund community projects and scholarships from the Medford-Vincentown Rotary Club.