NORTH BENNINGTON — It’s that time of the year, and the pandemic isn’t stopping the 28th Annual North Bennington Halloween Parade. The format this year has been changed to a “Stay In Your Car” Parade on Halloween day, Saturday, Oct. 31, with a 4 p.m. start time. Prizes will be awarded to the best-dressed vehicles, cars, trucks, trailers, and motorcycles and passengers, so start your planning now.
The parade route will be new this year. Starting at 3:30 p.m., participating vehicles will meet at Bennington College’s back parking lot near Greenwall Auditorium/VAPA, entering through the Harlan Road entrance where volunteers provide direction to the parade lineup. The parade will start at 4 p.m. at the college’s old stone gate at the top of Prospect Street, proceeding down into the village, turning right at Lincoln Square fountain and continuing up Main Street to end at the Train Depot.
Due to current restrictions, there will be no bonfire or gathering after the parade.
Costume prizes will be announced on VAE’s Facebook page and website on Monday morning.
Although staying in your car is the safest bet for those in the parade, organizers ask that parade spectators practice social distancing and wear face masks. If not wearing a mask as part of your costume, grab some Sharpies and decorate your cloth or disposable mask. The judges will be on the lookout for the best decorated “COVID” mask.
Organizers are asking parade participants to make a donation of $10-$20 per vehicle to help VAE put on this free, annual event. Donations will be collected on the way out through the stone columns of the college’s gate as the parade meanders its way down into the Village.
The Bennington Traditional Jazz Band will play live music from Lincoln Square, which will also be home base for the parade judges. Free grilled hot dogs, courtesy of Powers Market, will be distributed by members of the Norshaft Lions Club. Pangaea will be open and featuring coffee from Angelica and The Roasted Bean Espresso Bar as well as new treats from their patisserie. Plan on dinner to go or eat outside at Marigold’s Pizza, Kevin’s or Pangaea for a great local dinner out.
For more information about the parade, email firstname.lastname@example.org.