By LESLEY GRAHAM
The Ocean City Halloween Parade was filled with ghoulish fun for all ages as the parade rolled down Asbury Avenue on Thursday night.
The 74th annual parade — one of the longest-running in the Tri-State area — features dancers, performers, bands, and families all decked out in their Halloween best.
The parade, hosted by the Ocean City Exchange Club, once again delighted spectators with colorful floats, fun musical numbers, and spooky costumes.
Residents and visitors alike lined the sidewalks to check out the parade participants that danced and marched their way from 7th Street to 11th Street.
The littlest spectators held out their candy buckets, hoping a treat or two would be tossed their way.
“The candy is my favorite part,” said Sutton Swerline, 4, of Ocean City.
Sutton added, “I also liked the giant skeleton, but I really liked the candy.”
Sutton wasn’t alone in those thoughts, as kids big and small scooped up the candy from passing participants.
The parade was comprised of a number of floats, fire engines from various towns, local high school bands, and clubs, as well as family entries and pageant queens.
Local businesses also participated in the parade showcasing their spookiest Halloween spirit.
Megan Hilk of Ocean City walked in the parade for the first time as part of the Raab Montessori “Circus.”
Her son, Beckett, 2, attends Raab this year and was excited to walk in the parade with his friends from school.
“We all had a great time walking in the parade, seeing friends, and enjoying the atmosphere,” Hilk said. “We moved to Ocean City from Philadelphia a few years ago and it has been so nice getting to be a part of the town’s traditions that make it so special.”
There were a number of dance troops who performed throughout the parade, bringing energetic dance moves and exciting group numbers from zombies to tutus.
Aberly Mroz, 6, saw a few of her dance and school friends as she watched the parade go by.
“It was so fun seeing some of my friends in the parade — I want to do it next year!” she exclaimed to her parents.
With Halloween right around the corner, the parade was a great start to getting kids and adults alike ready for the spooky season. Boo!