Standing with his parents, Jeremy and Amanda Brinkerhoff, three-year-old Jordan Brinkerhoff waves to firefighters in a fire truck Saturday.
Children line the street on Guy Park Avenue Saturday as they wait for more candy to be thrown to them.
The Amsterdam High School Majorettes perform in costumes of all kinds Saturday during the Halloween Parade.
St. Mary's Institute student Martina Coppola rides "Mr. Frederick" in the parade Saturday, as her mother Jean-Marie Coppola helps guide the way. The three are from County Line Stables.
By REBECCA WEBSTER
Recorder News Staff
Mini versions of Marios, witches, superheros, and more lined Guy Park Avenue Saturday as the Elks Club’s annual Halloween Parade kicked off in the city of Amsterdam.
Children held bags in their costumed hands, waiting eagerly for the parade to begin.
And as soon as it did at 1 p.m., their tiny eyes widened, their arms went into the air, and they began scurrying to see who could get the most candy.
Even parents and older family members snatched some candy as it fell.
The parade kicked off with the vehicles from the Amsterdam Police Department, Amsterdam Fire Department, and the Polish American Veteran’s Color Guard.
Grand Marshall Stephanie Boice, a former long-time music teacher in the Greater Amsterdam School District, came close behind, followed by Elks Club officials, local officials, and various election candidates.
And soon many floats poured down the street, as costume upon costume wowed the spectators and float themes brought a mix of laughs and excitement to the already noise-filled street.
Amsterdam resident Charmaine Telemaque, there with various members of her family, said she comes every year to the parade, and they were happy to be there again this year, just “having fun.”
The fire trucks and old cars are always her favorite parts, she noted, but something else made it even more special.
“Everybody comes together,” she said. “It brings us together as a community and that’s the best thing about it.”
As the parade continued on, each school in the GASD walked with their banner as dozens of parents and students walked behind, most throwing – and some eating – candy along the way.
Girl and Boy Scout troops marched, four members from the Scotia-Glenville Pipe Band played, and even the four-legged friends at the Montgomery County SPCA pranced down Guy Park Avenue, some with Halloween-themed “Adopt me!” bandanas around their necks.
Joan and Gary China from Amsterdam have been going to the annual parade since they were kids, and their son used to be in the band throughout his high school years, as well.
Even now, when he is long out of their house, they still come to enjoy the yearly event.
“Our neighbors kids are in it, (and) we know a lot of people, so it’s a lot of fun,” Joan China said.
Joanna Muhlberger, there with her husband Brent and three of the four of their children, said they live in Gloversville, but the kids just love parades so they come every year.
The fire trucks and the music stick out for them, she added, just as the Amsterdam High School Marching Rams came down the street with the Majorettes dancing right ahead.
Instead of their normal identical outfits, their attire was replaced by doctor’s clothes, cowboy fashions, clown noses, and more.
At the end of the parade, the hundreds who had attended to spectate and grab some candy were invited back to the Elks Club Lodge on Fourth Avenue for more Halloween fun.
There they announced the winners of the various float awards, with scariest going to Alteri’s Auto, whose float entailed a sign that warned against texting and driving, a smashed vehicle on the truck’s bed, and a fake open casket with a woman crying over it.
Boice, who announced the award winners, called the float realistically scary.
In the end, Boice said she was honored to be named the Grand Marshall for the day and said she enjoyed the parade and the many who participated.
And hundreds of kids left with heaping bags of candy, a reminder that Halloween is just around the corner.