ALEXANDRIA, VA — One of Del Ray’s favorite traditions, the 22nd Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade, will take place on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. along Mount Vernon Avenue. The parade, which begins at E. Bellefonte Ave., ends with a party at the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center fields featuring live music, goodie bags for children, free refreshments, children’s games, awards for Best Decorated Stroller, House, Business & Best Pet Costume, and more. The event is free and open to all.
Last year’s parade drew more than 7,500 participants, which included over 2,500 children, special dignitaries and elected officials. Leading this year’s parade as Grand Marshall will be an outstanding student selected to represent Mount Vernon Community School.
Among the events on the day’s program:
- Pet Costume Contest and Stroller Decorating Contest: Registration for the Pet Costume Contest and Stroller Competition takes place before the parade Stroller and pet entries must register by 1:30 p.m.at the corner of Mt. Vernon and E. Howell Avenues; look for signage. Once registered, strollers will line up on Howell to be judged prior to the parade. Pets will be judged immediately at the end of the parade route. There is no fee to register. For complete details and categories, visit www.visitdelray.com/halloween
- Best Decorated House and Business: The deadline for nominations for Best Decorated House and Best Decorated Business is Sunday, October 21 at 12 p.m. To nominate a home or business, email the street addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org October 21; please state if it should be judged during the day or night.
- Spooky Bean Halloween: After the parade from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., families can enjoy the Spooky Bean Halloween Maze, constructed by Bean Creative. This free event is appropriate for all ages, and located on the 2200 block of Mount Vernon Avenue. Donations are accepted at the gate to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
- Costumes for Children In Need: The Del Ray Business Association collects and distributes Halloweencostumes for children who would otherwise go without. New or gently used costumes can be dropped off at collection bins at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square (located at Oxford & Mount Vernon Ave.) or on the porch at 110 E. Del Ray. Costumes are distributed the day before the parade from 2-4 p.m. at the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave. In 2017, over 200 costumes were distributed.
Held each year on the Sunday before Halloween, the Del Ray Halloween Parade is sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association, which represents the independently-owned shops, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. For more information, visit www.visitdelray.com/halloween