NORWALK – The final preparations are underway for the 33rd annual Arturo Sanchez, Sr. Halloween Parade, which is Saturday, Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. Beginning near the intersection of Pioneer Boulevard and Mapledale Street, the parade route heads south towards its final destination of Hermosillo Park in south Norwalk.
Having started out as a local neighborhood costume parade and contest, culminating in awards and prizes for costumes, it has grown into a major Southland fall event encompassing 21 marching bands and a cast of thousands marching in the legacy of the parade's namesake.
Speaking with Arturo Sanchez, Jr. recently, he shared the involvement his father had not only with the south Norwalk neighborhood, but with many in the local area.
Sanchez Jr. spoke of his father's "very hard to say no to" persona, recalling an incident after his father died that took place in the same local where the Sanchez restaurant establishment continues on 162nd Street.
"Shortly after my Dad died, some kids were hanging out in the store kind of restless. Finally, one of the kids said to another one, 'go on ask him.'"
"It was then that one of them asked, 'Is the parade going to continue?' We contacted the city and they agreed to continue the parade."
This year’s Grand Marshall is Pikachu and his fellow Pokémon characters, Squirtle and Charmander.
In addition to the annual fun event, scholarships will be awarded to deserving high school seniors from area schools.
The Arturo Sanchez, Sr. Halloween Parade Foundation provides up to $9,000 dollars in scholarships for high school seniors wishing to continue their education.
The recipients of this year’s awards will be recognized Saturday during the presentation of the parade awards and costume prizes at Hermosillo Park.
While no candy will be thrown from moving vehicles, parade participants may hand out candy if they are walking in the parade, according to Sanchez Jr.
The parade moves south along Pioneer, turning left on Alondra and making a right on Horst to 162nd Street where it veers right, ending at the Hermosillo Park parking lot.