In years to come, the times when trick-or-treating was done the night before Halloween will be no more than an old folk tale told among the grown-ups of Toms River Township.
The hosts of the Toms River Halloween parade, Toms River Fire Company No. 1, have now decided to move the date of their world famous event indefinitely.
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Instead of holding the parade on Halloween night, as it has traditionally been done since the first parade marched down Main Street in 1919, the fire company has decided to start holding the parade on the closest Saturday before Halloween.
This year's parade will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26.
The organizers will, however, continue their long standing tradition of not hosting the parade on a Sunday, therefore the rain date will always be that following Monday.
McDaniel says from this year forward, the only reason Trick-or-Treating should be on the 30th is if Halloween itself falls on a Saturday.
Here's the catch: since there has never actually been an ordinance created by the township declaring when residents should go out trick-or-treating, all the fire company and the township can really do is suggest that parents send their children out on the Oct. 31 from now on.
“I confirmed with Toms River Township that they do not sanction any date for trick or treat," said McDaniel. "The fire company's position is that since the parade is not on the 31st this year, that date is available for the children to trick or treat as is done in surrounding towns."
McDaniel believes holding the parade on a Saturday will make it easier for future parade participants, such as members of the fire company, as well as the rest of the community to be apart of the town's traditional event.
“On a Saturday we think the town will be able to participate more,” McDaniel said.
Not only does this year mark big changes for the traditions held by the residents of Toms River, but it also marks the 75th year that the parade has been held in town.
“It's a milestone for us,” McDaniel said.
To celebrate that milestone, members of Fire Company No.1 will act as this years grand marshals in the parade.
“Typically we would have our grand martial at the beginning of the parade, but since we will all be kind of busy at that point we intend to mass up at the end and be in the very end of the parade,” McDaniel said.
Anyone is encouraged to sign up and participate in the parade, which is broken up into divisions in order for a panel of judges to evaluate participants and hand out prizes at the end of the night.
Registration starts the day of the parade at the Toms River Shopping Center which is the meeting point for both floats and parade participants.
McDaniel says registration is free, but donations are always welcome seeing as the parade is completely put together and funded with the help of volunteers and fundraisers.
One of those fundraisers is the fire company's annual golf tournament. This year the golf tournament will be held at the Bey Lea Municipal Golf Course on September 19.
Anyone who is interested in participating in the golf outing can call Golf Committee Chairman, John Mount, at 732-349-0144.
What do you think of the date switch for the parade? Tell us in the comments section below!