EMMAUS, Pa. - The trick to bringing back the sweet treats: more volunteers to help with parade, according to Emmaus Halloween Parade officials.
This year, the Emmaus Halloween Parade committee banned those in the parade from handing out or throwing candy along the route.
Kathy Mintzer, the parade committee's chairperson, said the committee chose to ban the candy at the parade out of concerns for safety. Simply put, she said, there were not enough volunteers to assist in pushing the parade through its 2 mile route, let alone handle crowd control from kids who may run in towards the parade route. In an e-mail to 69 News, Mintzer said one year there was a close call with a child running into the street in front of an approaching fire truck for a piece of thrown candy.
Mintzer said she only has nine volunteers and most of them are aging. She said she was begging for volunteers and more younger people to help with parade after seeing a decline in help over the years. If she had more help, she said, they may have come to a different decision on banning candy.
"It's a shame," said Macgee Miller, who attended the parade Saturday night with his grandchildren. He said parents need to watch over their children more as to make sure they do not run out into the street.
Madison Urland, 9, of Emmaus said her favorite parts about the parade include seeing the silly people in their costumes. She's optimistic, though, that she'll be able to get candy at the parade sometime in the future.
"I understand it," said Urland. " I'm kind of disappointed but I really don't care because there's always next year."
"So if folks want to see candy back, by all means volunteer!" said Mintzer in an e-mail.
Gary Miller said perhaps now is the time for the community to come together to maintain the tradition.
"I feel that we all, as a community in Emmaus should stand up to volunteer for events like this to keep these things kind of things going," said Miller.
Allentown, PA 18102