Photos: Vienna Hosts 66th Annual Halloween Parade

Santa Claus serves as grand marshal in the annual parade

Vienna celebrated its 66th annual Halloween Parade on Wednesday with Santa Claus serving as grand marshal for the parade themed "Celebrating Holidays Around the World."

A panel of judges will hand out awards in the following categories: Youth Band, Float with Music, Youth Performer, Antique/Classic Vehicle, Adult Band, Float without Music and Adult Performer. The awards ceremony will be hosted 8 p.m. Nov. 5 at Town Hall before the Vienna Town Council meeting.

Until the official ceremony, click here to check out state Sen. Chap Petersen's picks as his favorites on his Ox Road South blog. Feel free to tell us your favorites in the comments section below.

Want to see what you missed? The entire Vienna Halloween Parade will be available on DVD for $10. Copies can be reserved online at www.viennava.gov. Those interested can also fill out an order form at the Vienna Community Center at 120 Cherry Street SE before 5 p.m. Nov. 2.

For more information, contact the Vienna Parks and Recreation Department at 703-255-6360.

Click on the "Upload your photos and video" tab to add your photos from the parade to the gallery above.

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Frank October 25, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Five pictures of Gerry Connolly and Democrats, one of Romney supporters. Go ahead Patch and lying to everyone that you're unbiased. Btw, where we were, there was no cheering for the Obama/Connolly group but lots of applause for Romney.
DCS October 25, 2012 at 02:04 PM
@ Frank - different photographers - different perspectives. Upload your photos - you're allowed!
Jessica Wallach October 25, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Love the photos,,,I was sick and couldn''t go so thank you for them, they are great!
Rebecca October 25, 2012 at 02:09 PM
I have to agree. Where were the photos of Col. Chris Perkins??? There were five photos of the incumbent & none of Perkins - how biased is that??? I was there & the Romney , Allen, & Perkins parade people got a huge applause.
Rebecca October 25, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I agree with you DD. People should not be booing the candidates they oppose. Pretty soon, the candidates will not be allowed in the parade I would think, as it DOES ruin the atmosphere.
DD October 25, 2012 at 03:10 PM
It's one thing to cheer for the political party you support, but there is no need to boo and jeer at the other one. I saw a lot of this last night, and it saddened me, because it really undermines the intended spirit of the parade. Regarding the gap in the parade, we were near the Vienna Inn and as far as we could tell, the parade was over. At least ten minutes went by with no action, and no one indicated that there were more floats to come. We couldn't see a thing except people spilling out into the street and leaving, so we just assumed it was over. Oh well.
Rebecca October 25, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Nice video Ann Martin! Thank you!
Wien October 25, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think there should be any political floats or ads, for either side, in a local Town parade. If it isn't a local Vienna town race, it's just noise, especially during a town parade this isn't meant to be a platform for politics.
J.R. Lowery October 25, 2012 at 03:42 PM
"Pretty soon, the candidates will not be allowed in the parade I would think" Please say it's true!
Amy Stiverson October 25, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I was disappointed that the parade was not really over yet, but since there was nothing to be seen all the way from grandstand to giant, we left just like everyone else did. I am saddened for the people who went to so much trouble to prepare their entries and were not seen by probably more than half the crowd. Political comments? Romney cheerers were most definitely louder. There were no 'boo's from anywhere for with side. We were all polite and friendly and respectful of each others opinions/candidates. The media and Patch are always biased toward Democratic candidates - that is to be expected. Was thankful to be surrounded by people who respected both sides. But please don't lie about it? I was at the grandstand - silence for Obama - screaming cheers for Romney. Come on folks....
Nicole Trifone (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 04:43 PM
The photos of Connolly at the end of the gallery were submitted by the Connolly camp. Col. Perkins' camp or his supporters are more than welcome to add their photos of his part in the parade.
Nicole Trifone (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I should clarify I meant at the end of the original gallery. Residents have added lots of pictures since the original 29. Thanks, everyone!
Ron October 25, 2012 at 04:47 PM
It's obvious that the Patch is biased toward the left politically. It's not easy having to see that smug arrogant face of Connolly. The parade should never allow any political people or content. The entire event was ruined by the display of politics. We get far too much of it thru the media, mail, telephone, and on and on. The parade should be an event for the Citizens of Vienna and nothing more!
Ron October 25, 2012 at 04:50 PM
If the Patch was doing their job, they should remain neutral and should have omitted the political photos and labeled them as advertisements!
Amy Stiverson October 25, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Sad for those later entries who were not seen by most spectators.
Erica R. Hendry October 25, 2012 at 06:01 PM
As Nicole mentioned earlier, politicians have uploaded their own photos to the gallery. Patch is actually one of the few media organizations that does not do candidate endorsements before elections -- a lot of people don't realize that! Having covered a few Vienna Halloween parades myself, I can say that I've heard your feelings about politicians in the parade, Ron -- that they shouldn't be allowed, except for town council candidates just having a good time (their elections are in May, so they're not really "in the season") -- echoed by dozens of parade-goers. To my knowledge, thought, there are no immediate plans to ban them from parades. One thing many Vienna residents tell me they ARE happy about, though: The rules about campaign signs. Thanks everyone for adding photos/videos to the gallery!
R. October 25, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Although I am a Democrat, I agree with Ron that there should be no politics at all in the Halloween parade....no politicians, no banners, no floats supporting candidates from any party. Other than its proximity to Election Day, Halloween has nothing to do with politics nor should the Halloween parade.... ever. Haven't political commercials taken over enough of our lives that we cannot have a wonderful family celebration like the Halloween Parade without the intrusion of a bunch of blind ambition politicians with anything but Halloween on their minds? Can't we reserve a politics free place for our children and ourselves -- set it all aside for just one night? Further, I am really disappointed in the choice of Santa Claus as a Grand Marshall for the parade. Even Macy's has the good taste not to start into Christmas until the Thanksgiving Day parade. Way bad that the commercialism of Christmas made its way into this year's parade. Whose tacky idea was that? Please give our children a chance to enjoy one holiday at a time before hitting them up with the buy, buy, buy mentality of Christmas! I would love to see a parade without politicians and without Santa next year!
R. October 25, 2012 at 06:38 PM
The "intended spirit" of the parade has absolutely nothing to do with politics or politicians. Halloween is NOT Election Day! I would like to see all politicians and politics banned from the parade permanently. That aspect of it has been a negative spot since I first watched the parade in 1980.
DD October 25, 2012 at 07:05 PM
I agree with you, R, politicians should not be in the parade to begin with. After all, it is called the Halloween Parade, not the Election Day Parade.
Elizabeth Schlier October 25, 2012 at 08:46 PM
The theme this year was Holidays Around the World and thus they chose Santa Claus for the grand marshal. I don't believe it had anything to do with starting Christmas early. It just made sense to represent the most popular American holiday.
Mariana Trench October 25, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Does anyone know who the "Mammy" was representing? From my vantage point, it looked like they were marching with the Marshall band, which I do not want to believe. I can't read the fan in the photo, looks like "[something] Baptist Church," but of course that could be a prop. I thought the costume was appallingly racist, so I'm very interested in knowing what group submitted that as their entry.
Kim October 25, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Re: politics in the parade. I have no objection to politicians being in the parade - sort of a tradition and part of the charm, I think. But we should rein in our behavior, especially with children nearby. At one point, when the Obama supporters (high school kids with signs, mostly) were marching and cheering, an elderly couple near me started booing and hissing and shouting "get rid of the bum". I was embarrassed for them, setting such a poor example for the young people around them.
Kathleen Lake October 26, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Anybody who attends this parade regularly knows that it ends with the firetrucks and sirens. So no need to leave even if there is a pause. There was a huge lag due to a Bolivian (I think) dance troupe who's sound truck was moving at a snail's pace. Had they moved faster their dancers would not have been exhausted after going the first block. They were practically dancing in place rather than making any distance. There were three of these troupes each with a massive amount of people. While they are entertaining, they moved too slow and the parade ran longer than usual. I think they should be limited to one or two groups.
Beau Dure October 26, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Yeah -- regular citizens who upload photos to Patch are biased! Those regular citizens should be ashamed of themselves! Next thing you know, they'll have signs in their yards saying which candidates they prefer! (Fully agreed, though, on the politicians in the parade. I skip much of it for that reason. And extra negative points for the write-in Congressional candidate who didn't even spring for a space in the parade but instead infiltrated the best part of the parade -- the kids marching in costume!)
Beau Dure October 26, 2012 at 01:04 AM
I do have to respond to one point Erica made -- the restriction on signs was nice, but Connolly and Perkins supporters were both hyper-aggressive in terms of getting out balloons. I had to maneuver past a big truck at one point in the Walgreens parking lot doing some sort of organizing for Perkins. For a minute, it looked like they were going to tie Perkins balloons to a tree, but I think a slight bit of common sense drifted into someone's head.
DD October 26, 2012 at 01:42 AM
I saw something similar happen to a bunch of younger kids in Romeney t-shirts. I don't care what a person's politics are, Republican, Democrat, whatever--nobody should be booing kids. That's just wrong.
Bubba Gump October 26, 2012 at 04:16 PM
That gap in front of the first group of Bolivian(?) dance group had to be at least 1/3 mile - it took the parade staff a long time to send somebody down there to speed them up, which they eventually did. We also ended up leaving after 2 hrs or so and feel bad for participants at the end of the line. The town really should ban the politicians (nobody gets anything out of that and it would speed up) AND try and keep the pace up.
Bubba Gump October 26, 2012 at 04:19 PM
oh and yes, that gone with the wind thing was horribly offensive....who's idea was that and why did the parade organizers not pull that one out? Was that somebody who thinks vienna is still in 1920? Face it the town is a whole lot more diverse than that...
R. October 26, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Holidays theme or no, having Santa as the Grand Marshall was way wrong. How about, since it is/was the HALLOWEEN parade, having Casper the Friendlty Ghost or a Halloween related figure as Grand Marshall? I guess that would make too much sense!
R. October 26, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Charm??? Hardly! If politiicans or Vienna want to have an Election Day parade, then and only then would politicians be appropriate. I am way tired of Republicans and Democrats distracting from the holiday for their own ambitious purposes. Town of Vienna -- please take note ---Make next year's parade a true Halloween parade and get rid of all the politicians!


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