By LESLEY GRAHAM, OCNJDaily
The 72nd annual Halloween Parade delighted the crowds as it marched its way down Asbury Avenue Thursday evening in front of hundreds of spectators.
The parade, which is hosted by the Exchange Club and the city of Ocean City, is one of the longest-running Halloween parades in the tri-state area.
The parade dazzled with a variety of entries – some spooky, some scary, but all fun-filled as locals and visitors alike were treated to an evening of Halloween spectacular.
Hundreds of children lined the streets, most giving their Halloween costumes a trial run before trick-or-treating next week. The kids were anxiously awaiting the passing floats, hoping to fill their treat bags with candy and goodies galore.
There were marching bands and dance troupes giving the crowds something to cheer and dance about as they traveled south down the avenue, sharing the Halloween spirit as they went.
Not only did the parade participants show off their Halloween spirit, so did the onlookers. Lee Styer and Dan Weaver, both teachers at Ocean City High School, were decked out in their best Halloween garb.
“We have a lot of students in the parade, so we like to come out and support them. Oh, and we love Halloween!” said Styer, enjoying the sights and sounds.
The Davis sisters make a tradition out of enjoying the Halloween parade with their families. Jasmine and Gabrielle Davis, both of Ocean City, love coming to the parade every year.
“We come because it’s a tradition and it’s fun,” said Jasmine Davis.
And this year there was an extra special treat for the Davis family as Gabrielle’s daughter, Nya Gilchrist, was featured on a float for OCHS Miss Pumpkin.
Brittany Sedberry Eberson, who was enjoying the parade with her family and friends, said they always come to the parade for the kids.
“The kids love it, so we love it,” Eberson said.
Eberson made it a family affair with her brother and his family, her parents and her husband Zach and their three children, Gabe 6, Aubrey 3, and Blake 1.
The fun of the Halloween parade wasn’t just limited to those with kids. The appeal of the parade was for everyone to help kick off the feeling of fall and the holiday spirit Ocean City is known for.
Newlyweds Lizzie and Brian Kerchner were enjoying their first parade as a married couple.
“We are really looking forward to making new traditions and memories in our new adventure together, and what better way to start than with the awesome Halloween parade,” Lizzie said.
Her husband quickly added, “It’s such a great community to be a part of and it shows on nights like tonight.”