Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Your time: Rag Shag Parade, Florence

  • Emma Clark, scarecrow
  • Rag Shag Parade
  • John Frey, Gus Frey, 3, front
  • Alex Holloway, from left, Elijah Taylor, Kayla Rivera
  • Lucy Platt
  • Henning Ohlenbusch, left, Max Germer of School for the Dead
  • Accessories for a scarecrow in the scarecrow contest
  • Jason Clark, Emma Clark, Melody Clark
  • New pumpkin decoration
  • Don and Megan Williard with children Alex, Mason, Eli and D.J.
  • Melissa Lisboa
  • Frances Slabich, front, Kristen Mara

Photos and text
by Jerrey Roberts

The annual Rag Shag Parade drew hundreds of children, parents and onlookers to downtown Florence on Halloween night. At Trinity Row Park, parents mingled and took pictures as children danced and played to the beat of the band School for the Dead while waiting for the parade to start. At about 6 p.m., Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, a hearse, and the Expandable Brass Band led the walk to the Florence Civic Center, passing under a new jack-o-lantern decoration at Maple and Main streets. Some gathered outside the center and continued to listen to the brass band as others went inside for doughnuts, cookies, popcorn and drinks.

Many at the parade had fashioned their own costumes. Don and Megan Willard, of Chesterfield, said they brainstorm with their children every year to decide on their homemade costumes. This year, D.J., 12, dressed as a lumberjack, 10-year-old Mason as a chain saw, Alex, 7, as a tree, and baby, Eli, as a bottle of oil. Wanting their costumes to be original, Willard said his family does some research on the Internet and then takes things from there. And sometimes, he said, they look back and wonder, “What were we thinking that year?”

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