Dressed to thrill

Bolster the candy supplies: hundreds of Spideys, princesses and Batmen expected at Saturday's Cloverdale Halloween Costume Parade.

Cloverdale businessman Allan Dann hands out candy to trick-or-treaters at last year's Cloverdale Costume Parade.

For the under 12 set (and their parents), it’s the biggest party of the year, so if you’re a business in the historic town centre, start stockpiling the candy supplies.

The Cloverdale Halloween Costume parade is a free, supervised trick-or-treat parade to local stores, and every year it just gets bigger and bigger.

Last year’s unofficial crowd count stood at about 1,200 – the most participants ever.

The 12th annual parade, presented by the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association and the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, gets underway this Saturday afternoon at Surrey Museum Plaza and takes to the streets from there.

“It’s a reflection of the community, it really is,” says Paul Orazietti, executive director of the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association, which presents the parade with partners the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce. “It’s staggering how many Grade 1 and Grade 2 and kindergarten kids there are, particularly in Clayton.”

The event is a hit with kids – and their parents.

“We have a loyal following. A number of families return year after year. It’s safe, it’s monitored by the police, it’s at a convenient time, and it’s a lot of fun – and free.”

Service groups like the Cloverdale Lions and the Rotary Club of Cloverdale take part, as does the Cloverdale Community office of the Surrey RCMP.

Thie year Participaction’s Bring Back Play Funmobile will be there (1-4 p.m.), along with the return of the Saharan desert tortoise, “Dozer”, who will be inside the Surrey Museum at Pumpkin Power.

Parade registration begins at noon at Surrey Museum Plaza, where there are activities and a group photo (2 p.m.).

Children and parents are put into three groups. At 2 p.m., they head out on a supervised parade.

One group will visit businesses on 176 and 176A Streets in the town centre. The second will trick-or-treat at Clover Square Village on Highway 10. The third group will head over to Brickyard Station.

Organizers are expecting between 450 and 500 children per group, so participating businesses are advised to have plenty of candy ready.

After the parade, participants are welcomed back to Surrey Museum Plaza for prize draws. One of the big prizes this year is a night’s stay at the Holiday Inn and Suites for a family of four.

SLIDESHOW: the 2011 Halloween Costume Parade