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Under the theme "2020 Out of this World", the 71st annual Clinton Mardi Gras Halloween parade will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, on Riverview Drive.

The Mardi Gras Halloween Parade committee realized quickly in August that there was no way a traditional parade would take place in 2020. We were very disappointed. However, we also decided there was no way we wouldn’t work on the safest and best Halloween celebration alternative for the children of our community.

Many parades ago, the date for a parade and the rain date both had to be canceled due to cold and ice. Float organizers work long and hard on their entries and our committee knows this, so they arranged to have the floats displayed in the LumberKing parking lot to view on a better day. It’s from this idea that a plan for the entries to remain stationary on Riverview Drive and have cars drive by was born. You can call it a "reverse parade" or an "inside out parade".

The theme fits the kind of year we have experienced, and we chose our Grand Marshals based on how they had helped children in 2020. Our Grand Marshals are Jennifer Austin, who made and delivered lunches to school children over the summer, and the Birthday Parade team of Toni Howes, Cyara Peterson and Hope Ralston. They helped organize just shy of 400 parades for the young and young at heart to celebrate their special days.

The Mardi Gras Halloween Committee is collecting candy for goodie bags to be given at the end of the parade. No fires, political advertisements or throwing of items are allowed in the parade. Cash prizes are awarded for the best entries.

“Jack” the balloon pumpkin will be there to greet everyone, as well as two more balloons this year!

Mary Jo Dopson,

Clinton

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