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Arts, Sports & Culture

With Funding Secured, Bloomfield Halloween Parade Marches On

Keith Srakocic
Cosmo Pace, an assistant manager at Costume World in Pittsburgh's Strip District, lines up a display of masks on the wall Monday, Oct. 4, 2004. After it was nearly cancelled, Pittsburgh's Bloomfield Halloween Parade will continue as scheduled this year.

After threats of its cancellation, the annual Bloomfield Halloween Parade is back on for its 49th consecutive year.

The Bloomfield Citizens Council, who organizes the event, announced last week that the Pittsburgh tradition would not have the enough funding in time for its previously scheduled date of Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.

Lifelong Bloomfield resident, Shannon Lyons, started a petition to bring back the parade to the community. It reached over 1,000 signatures within a week.

She met with city and neighborhood leaders, and Tuesday morning said they'd received enough donations to carry on. They'd lacked enough to cover entertainers, insurance and permit fees, including the requisite $500 required by the city of Pittsburgh for weeknight parades, according to a release.

“On the news there’s tragedy, there’s negativity, just all these awful things," Lyons said. "This is something that is positive. Something that, you know, we cherish. And now we can continue to do so.”

The parade features costumed families, local businesses and marching bands, bringing thousands into the East End neighborhood.

Guy Costa, chairman of the Columbus Day Parade and chief operations officer for the city, said the event is important to the neighborhood.

“We thought the right thing to do was to do what we could to keep that long tradition of having a Halloween parade in Bloomfield,” he said.

Costa was among the city leaders, corporations and businesses that organized what they called the “emergency fundraiser.”