NARRAGANSETT – Ghosts, witches, superheroes and other delights of the imagination will take over the Narragansett Pier on the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 23 for the Friends of the Narragansett Library’s 7th annual Costume Parade. The free event, which typically sees children and their parents/guardians adorned in Halloween costumes walking the Pier-area route, will also feature pumpkin decorating and a story walk session this year. Pandemic precautions, such as social distancing, frequent sanitation, masking and surface cleaning, will also be in place.
“It feels great to be able to host the parade again this year because the kids just want a little bit of normalcy,” said Youth Services Librarian at Maury Loontjens Memorial Library Jessica Ocampo. “Some kids and parents are still a little bit nervous about trick or treating, but all kids want to wear their costumes.”
As such, children and their parents and guardians are encouraged to wear their favorite family-friendly Halloween costume to the event next weekend and walk the parade route, which will take participants from the library on Kingstown Road to the Narragansett Fire Station, the police station and finally through the Pier condos and larger Pier Marketplace. In addition to people, friendly pets on leashes are also welcome, and pets in costume are encouraged. Those who do not wish to march can still observe the parade from the sidewalks of the parade route and cheer for the participants.
“We want people to come and line up along the route and be excited and wave to the kids and cheer,” said Ocampo. “Even if you’re not actually participating in the parade, to just show the kids that the costumes are appreciated goes a long way.”
Finally, all supplies for pumpkin decorating and other activities will be supplied to participants free of charge.
Library staff and event organizers are currently taking steps to ensure the parade is “as safe as possible,” meaning materials will be frequently sanitized and social distancing will be enforced.
“All the shared materials that we’re using, such as the pens, are going to be cleaned very frequently,” said Ocampo. “If a child puts a marker down or a pen down, whatever it is, it will be sanitized right away. We’re trying to keep things as safe as possible.”
In addition to those steps, unvaccinated participants and observers, including children, will be required to wear a mask. If a costume does not come with an effective and safe mask for an unvaccinated individual, a medical mask must be worn.
The event is currently seeking volunteers to assist children, maintain the parade route and for clean-up. If interested, please contact Ocampo at the Maury Loontjens Memorial Library by calling (401) 789-9507.
The 7th annual costume parade kicks off in front of the library at 35 Kingstown Road on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. A tentative rain date is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. in the same location.