Prizes Awarded for Best Stroller Floats, Pet Costumes and Decorated Houses
ALEXANDRIA, VA–Gloomy morning skies gave way to sparkles of sunshine as thousands of Alexandria residents walked Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria starting at 2 pm on October 28, 2018.
Carrying on a 22-year tradition, the community rallied around the event, decorating strollers, wagons, themselves and dogs to wow crowds which lined the street, culminating in an end of parade party with goodie bags for every child, and hot dogs for everyone, peppered with live music by the popular local band, Mars Rodeo.
The event cost the Del Ray Business Association over $20,000 but was offered completely free of charge to everyone who participated thanks to thousands of generous donations provided by area businesses, and individuals. It took over 200 volunteers hanging street signs, filling goodie bags, cooking hot dogs, and herding costumed crowds to make the parade another rousing success.
“If you can figure out how to get 7 to 10,000 people through a goodie bag line any faster, let us know,” joked organized Gayle Reuter from the stage when thanking the community, volunteers and asking all to “hug your family and friends” during these difficult times.
Prizes and Awards
There is a competitive aspect to the day, however, and some of these participants take this parade very seriously. “We look forward to this all year,” said one proud dad pulling his stroller float to assemble with the other 45 strollers and wagons lined up pre-parade on East Howell Street for judging by Vice Mayor and unchallenged Democratic candidate for Mayor, Justin Wilson and Together We Bake‘s founder and candidate for City Council, Elizabeth Benneti Parker.
In the “Less is More” category, the prize went to “FRIED CHICKEN IN THE FRYING PAN,” which was Mom and Dad dressed as chefs and baby in a chicken costume comfortably settled into a large black frying pan.
Most Creative was awarded to “AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHT BLOCKS,” which was a neighborhood group project with kids under clear umbrella globes representing different countries.
Most Humorous was “BATMAN’s and ROBBIE’s FRIENDS” which was a lively, large group of animated superheroes that delighted the crowd all day long.
Best Group was “THREE LITTLE PIGS” which wowed the crowd with their three little houses of straw, wood and brick.
Best Overall was the “RTPU TRASH MONSTER” which was a large train-like center stroller decorated with recyclables like bottles and paper, and many kids and adults carrying environmentally-conscious signage.
Best Pet Costumes
There were 32 pets registered for judging, with most owners joining their pet’s costume theme, with winners receiving gift cards from Paul Haire’s pet shop on the Avenue, The Dog Store.
The How Could You Do This To Me? prize went to “STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE WITH WHIPPED CREAM”
Most Creative was awarded to “WITCHES BREW.”
Best in Show was “MUMMIES with DOXIE.”
Best Team was “COSTCO PIZZA AND HOT DOG FAMILY.”
Best Decorated Business
City Council member Del Pepper and Del Ray Citizens Association President Annie Ebbers were the judges and because two members of the community routinely go above and beyond to enhance their business landscapes with decorations every year, they were placed in a HALL OF FAME and not judged this year, Yates Corner and The Dog Store.
The winners this year:
First Place: Artifacts Inc., 201 A East Custis.
Honorable Mention: doggywalker.com, 202 East Custis.
Second Place: Pork Barrel BBQ, 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue.
Best Decorated House
Judging this year’s 10 entries, were Sheriff Dana Lawhorne and former State Delegate Rob Krupicka, with Virginia State Delegate Mark Levine filling in on the microphone for Krupicka.
The winners were:
Best House (Judges): “THE CLOWNS” at 307 East Clifford.
Best House (People’s Choice): “FLYING GHOSTS” at 4 West Custis.
2nd Place: “NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS”, 26 Forrest Avenue.
3rd Place: “The HAUNTED HOUSE”, 25 West Mount Ida.
4th Place: “FLYING GHOSTS”, 4 West Custis
Special Tiny Trophy and Merit Badge went to Sheriff Dana Lawhorne for his “years and years of trying” to win the “Best Decorated House” but always falling short. The Halloween Parade Committee made a special effort to give him small trophy and badge for his unfailing efforts.