Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Anaheim Halloween Parade: Then & Now

2013: Witches and a scary tree replicate the S.Q.R. Store float from 1957.
1957: The original!
The 89th Annual Anaheim Halloween Parade, held last Saturday, was a real corker! Not only did it have all the home-town charm you'd expect (e.g. high school marching bands, Shriners in mini-jalopies, etc.), but also a bunch of impressive new features supplied by a new crop of volunteers, including my friends Jody Daily and Kevin Kidney. (Certainly, many more people were involved in these parade, but I don't know their names. My apologies.) From an enormous rolling haunted house to a towering vampire, they came up with all kinds of new ideas. But being history geeks like me, they also went back and looked at the coolest entries from Anaheim Halloween Parades long ago and brought a handful of them back to life.
2013: A "Flying Sasser" is part of the Anaheim Historical Society's parade unit.
1950s: The original "Flying Sasser" invades Anaheim at the dawn of the Space Age.
I'm not sure, but I suspect that even more 2013 parade highlights were direct references to favorites from decades past. I should have taken better notes at last year's Orange County Historical Society presentation on the history of the Halloween Parade.
Vintage, Disney-designed Anaheim mascot "Andy Anaheim" leads the parade.
I've never been to this parade before, so I can't honestly compare this year to earlier incarnations. But I did enjoy the heck out of it! I particularly liked how it evoked an old-fashioned Halloween: Grinning jack-o-lanterns and sheet-draped ghosts instead of blood and gore. And the combination of history, community and creativity was very, very Anaheim. My thanks to EVERYONE involved.

I've posted a BUNCH of photos from the parade (and even some video) on my Flickr account.
The Anaheim Historical Society marches down Broadway.


outsidetheberm said...

It really was a great parade. Kevin and Jody (and others) deserve some high praise for a job well done!

Sorry I missed you there, Chris. Next year!

Kevin Kidney said...

Thanks for the wonderful review, Chris. This project is pure joy, and has already helped to bring our neighborhood together. We aim to keep the momentum going; there've already been three meetings (that I'm aware of) to discuss the 2014 Parade, which is also the 90th Anniversary.

Anyone who would like to get involved can sign up at the Parade's official website:

I can guarantee you'll have some fun, make some very cool stuff, and meet a lot of new people.


Major Pepperidge said...

I really wish I could have gone to this parade (and I'm not generally a big parade guy). It looks like the perfect thing, not too big or corporate, but full of charm.