Date(s) - 10/24/20
5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Merchantville School’s 8th Grade Haunted House, a beloved borough tradition for over 40 years, was almost another canceled event of the COVID-19 pandemic, but students and parents have elected to take the tradition on the road – literally – with a Haunted Circus Train Parade. Traditionally, the Merchantville 8th Grade Haunted House has been a key fundraising event for the 8th grade class, securing funds for a graduation celebration, class trip, and even yearbooks for the students.
“This year, we had to think differently”, adds parent-organizer-extraordinaire Jenn Perno, “Keeping our children safe while engaging with the greater community have been the guiding principles for our 8th grade committee.” Instead of hosting the close-quartered and often crowded event on the school grounds, the families rallied to crowdsource floats, generators, lots of paint and volunteers to take their Halloween event as a parade through town. “Yes, we want to celebrate and raise funds for the 8th grade class, but we also want to thank our local businesses who have been supporting many families through this unprecedented time.”
The community responded with enthusiasm and teamwork. From local business sponsors to residents sending Venmo donations (@Merchantville-EighthGrade) to the positive feedback on their Facebook page (Merchantville 8th Grade), Merchantville has been turning out to support their 8th graders. In recognition of their sponsorships, local businesses will be featured along the parade floats and throughout community events for the rest of the month.
The parade is scheduled for Saturday 10/24 with a 5:30pm start; the haunted float train will snake through town for two hours, starting and ending by the Fire Hall. Borough residents are encouraged to attend & enjoy the show from their lawns and porches.
“Considering the birthday ‘caravans’ and other social distancing innovations this year, it is really a unique way 2020 graduates are able to keep up the spirit of Halloween for the whole town” adds Griffin Kidd. His 8th grade daughter Ivy agrees, “The eight grade parade float will bring an aspect of fun into many people’s lives amidst a rough year.” Come celebrate with us – what’s more 2020 than 6 circus funhouses, on wheels, with a band?