The annual parade is seeking support from the community.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Fall Foliage Parade is hoping to scare up some more support this year.
The event is set this Sunday, Oct. 6, with Grand Marshal Paul Marino and the very October theme "Haunts, Legends & Ghost Stories."
But the annual celebration only happens through the generous support of the entire community, said organizers.
The 58th parade, organized by the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce and the city of North Adams, has set a fundraising goal of $40,000 for all the bands, floats and marching units that will march from the former Walmart to Main Street.
It's not just money that keeps the state's biggest parade celebrating the fall season going: Volunteers of all ages are needed to help with the event, including the important posts of banner carriers.
"This parade is put together by hard-working volunteers that include the parade committee, banner carriers, parade participants, and many others," said Danielle Thomas, this year's parade director, in a statement. "These volunteers create a tremendous event utilizing sponsorship dollars and depend on the continued support from their community to achieve success each year."
Helping the Fall Foliage Parade Committee reach its $40,000 fundraising goal will enable it to bring the best professional bands and marching units to downtown North Adams.
The bulk of parade funding comes from area corporate sponsors and city grants. Individual private donations, though, are important to the parade's success. The parade committee is optimistic that this year the private sector fundraising goal of $10,000 will be reached.
"The Fall Foliage Parade has been a mainstay of our community for many years, and this event will continue for many more, but as with so many community events, it becomes more challenging each and every year to fund this massive effort," said North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright. "Parade funding comes largely from the city, corporate sponsors and private donors.
"This year, to help defray some of the costs, we will be having volunteers walking the parade route seeking donations. This has been common practice in Pittsfield's July 4th Parade and has helped them to sustain their efforts. If you are able, and you see one of our volunteers, any donation toward the efforts of our parade would be very much appreciated."
Many popular favorites will be among the 3,000-plus participants returning to march the 2 1/2 mile parade route down Curran Highway and State Street, past the Main Street reviewing stand to Ashland Street. To date, parade entries include high school bands and professional units, including Wild Country Cloggers, Torrington (Conn.) High School Marching Band, Ichabod Crane "Riders" Marching Band of Valatie, N.Y., and the popular sword-wielding Melha Shriners.
The parade steps off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6, from the Ocean State Job Lot parking lot. For additional information and updates, visit the Fall Foliage Parade website or 413-499-4000.
The Fall Foliage Festival also includes a week's worth of events beginning Sunday, Sept. 29, with the annual Fall Foliage Arts & Crafts Festival from 10 to 3 on Main Street; the Fall Foliage Ziti Supper at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center on Thursday, Oct. 3, from 4 to 7; the annual Children's Parade on Friday, Oct. 4, beginning at 5 p.m. at the corner of Eagle and Main streets, and the annual Lasagna Dinner at the Eagles; the 4th annual costumed Dog Parade beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Veterans Memorial Park (donations for animal rescue leagues accepted; followed by a blessing of the animals at 11:15 at St. Elizabeth's ) and the Fall Foliage Dance that night from 9 to 1 ($5 admission); the Eagles' all-you-can-eat breakfast on parade morning and the annual 5K Road Race that precedes the parade at beginning at noon on Main Street.
The annual Fall Foliage Leaf Hunt kicks off Saturday morning (look for the clues on iBerkshires) and runs through the week.
Other events this week include a benefit concert by Albert Cummings on Saturday, Oct. 28, for the local ROPES program, administered by local police departments, at Joe Wolfe Field at 7 p.m. ($20 in advance; $22 at the gate), and the North Adams Farmers Market on both Saturday mornings.
The Children's Road Race & Fair takes place on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Noel Field walking track beginning with registration at 11 a.m. The races start at noon with five divisions ranging from toddlers to age 10-11 for boys and girls. The fair includes giveaways and games.