DANSVILLE — The ghosts, ghouls, ninjas, and zombies came out for frights and delights on Halloween night.
David Leven has taken on the honor of being chairman of the Dansville Halloween Parade for about 15 years now.
Leven and Mayor Peter Vogt recall marching in the parade as children, and the joy it made them feel doing so.
“I remember marching in the parade when I was a kid,” Vogt said. “For as long as I can remember there has always been a royal couple.”
The Dansville Central votes on the royal pair for the crowning at the Dansville Halloween Parade every year. This year the torch was passed to Jesse Ikker and Brittany Bettis.
Leven said he really enjoys the parade every year.
“I was born and raised in this community,” he said. “It is a good thing for this community to have. It shows good kids who are doing something creative with their family. I love seeing the homemade costumes.”
This all started in the late 1920s when the community came together to bring Halloween fun for the children and adults alike.
Leven comes from a long family tradition of holding chairman for the parade. Carl Leven, David’s grandfather, and Richard Leven, David’s father both held that title for a long time.
“We start inviting the school to join us in August,” he said. “The school is a big help to us every year. They elect the king and queen of the parade. The school’s art department makes the crowns every year. The Dansville High School Band always leads the parade.”
The Dansville VFW and Dansville Fire Department help in judging the awards, and giving out prizes to the top four categories in the parade.
“We find that a lot of kids will run off to trick or treat about a block into the parade, so we started handing the awards to them during the parade,” Leven said. “This really is a great community event.”
Leven went from dressing up and marching in the parade to being able to plan and lead the parade every year.
“I was a wide-eyed little kid that went marching in the parade,” he said. “Now we have changed the security of the parade. In my day we would go trick or treating for three days. Now we only do it on Halloween.”
The royal couple gets to keep their special made crowns as a gift of Halloween, and the robes that keep them warm on the back of the truck are handed back to the organizers. Those robes are traditional as well since they have been on the backs of kings and queens for about two decades.
Leven said he really appreciates all the help he gets from Mayor Vogt and all the rest of the village officials.
The committee would like to thank the following organizations that fund the annual parade: Dansville Village Board, Dansville VFW and the Dansville Fire Department.
The committee would like to thank the following for all of their help: Keith Griese and his Judges, Chief Glenn Camuto and the Dansville Fire Department, Chief Charlie Perkins and the Dansville Police Department, Scott Tracey and the Village of Dansville Public Works Department, Marc Bridon and the Dansville Senior High School Band, Tops Friendly Markets, Nancy Leven, Scott Kenney, Dansville Senior High School Lab Assistant Kim Derrenbacher and anyone else that helped.
The following winners are:
FUNNIEST 1ST PLACE - $20 – Connor Moose FUNNIEST 2ND PLACE - $15 – Jaylynn and Asher Bridge FUNNIEST 3RD PLACE - $10 – Patrick Driscoll
SCARIEST 1ST PLACE - $20 – Cameron Wise – Swamp Rat SCARIEST 2ND PLACE - $15 – Nyejah Sharpe - Dracula SCARIEST 3RD PLACE - $10 – Kali Little - Zombie
MOST ORIGINAL 1ST PLACE - $20 – Ayden Walker MOST ORIGINAL 2ND PLACE - $15 – Zachary Doviak MOST ORIGINAL 3RD PLACE - $10 – Alvia Huey
GROUP 1ST PLACE - $30 – Hannah Bennett, Briley Wood, Coralyn Griese, Grayson Wolfanger – 80’s Theme
GROUP 2ND PLACE - $20 – Thompson Family - Dalmatians
GROUP 3RD PLACE - $15 – Hindle Family - Vampires
PARTICIPATION AWARD - Dansville Senior High School