Small town festivals have a charm that you don’t see with bigger city festivals. It seems everyone knows everyone else and the festivals are an all-town party. I had the pleasure of visiting historic Newburgh, Indiana, a town of about 3,300 people, during their Ghostly Stroll Halloween Parade and Harvest Festival in the Park. It was actually the second weekend of the Newburgh Halloween celebration, which began the prior week with Ghostly Walks.
Newburgh, situated on the Ohio River in southern Indiana, is rich in history, from its settler days to the Civil war and beyond. During the Ghostly Walk, a guide takes you through the streets of Newburgh, stopping at locations along the route to relate eerie events that took place in the city’s past. At several stops, actors dressed in the character role step out to tell the story. Stories are based on historical documents, newspaper archives and legends that Newburgh residents have passed down through the generations.
Ghostly Stroll Halloween Parade
Although the Ghostly Stroll Halloween Parade is for children, it’s fun to watch. Prior to the parade, kids trick-or-treat around the businesses in town. At parade time, the Old Dam Community Band leads the way aboard a float, playing music to set the Halloween mood. Costumed children—and a few costumed dogs—march behind the float around a couple of blocks. At the halfway point, the parade pauses while local celebrities judge the costumes for everything from most creative and spookiest to least creative.
Harvest Festival in the Park
Following the parade, everyone heads over to Lou Dennis Community Park to continue the fun. People visit with each other while enjoying live music, food and artisan vendors, and games for kids.
Free Family Movie Night
Folks stick around in the park after the Harvest Festival for the Free Family Movie Night. This year’s movie was the latest Star Wars film, a movie both kids and adults enjoyed.
Planning for the next Historic Newburgh Halloween celebration
Newburgh, Indiana, is located about 11 miles east of Evansville. The 2017 Ghost Walks are scheduled for October 20-22. The Ghostly Stroll Halloween Parade, Harvest Festival in the Park and Free Family Movie Night will be on October 28. Be sure to take lawn chairs and blankets for the movie. Check the Historic Newburgh website for further details Newburgh Halloween and other events held throughout the year.
Disclosures: Historic Newburgh, Inc. hosted my visit to the area. However, any opinions expressed in this article are my own.
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