Story and photos: Bobby Perritt-Moungaloa
Halloween was celebrated in the downtown this year as 2012 marked Oshawa’s first Halloween parade. A few days before All Hallow’s Eve, a horror show marched from the Oshawa Public Library’s McLaughlin Branch to Memorial Park along Simcoe Street.
Halloween lovers, young and old, shrugged off the rain and crammed together along Simcoe Street to get a glimpse of how twisted people’s imagination can get.
A large tank patrolled the street, shouting orders for people to quarantine themselves in their homes to avoid the “virus” while a grumbling, rustic car dragged human limbs on chains down the street.
The Ontario Ghost Busters took a break from fighting supernatural crime to make an appearance, along with the “Stay Puft” Marshmallow Man from the movies. One man said he watched the movie Back to the Future a few too many times and ended up spending a couple of hours every week over the course of ten years putting together a DeLorean time machine.
The band Hairy Holler provided musical entertainment by playing their flavour of “sleazy tavern pickpocket music.” Dressed as a skeleton, singer Myke Pulito led the band with his megaphone and eccentric voice down the parade route cutting through Memorial Park over to another gig at the Wasted Space Art Café.
The transformed Memorial Park was a bustling Halloween hub. A tent was set up selling Depraved brand clothing: a T-shirt company, run by a trio of Hamilton graphic designers whose past time is designing shirts and aprons with blood, zombies, bones and skulls. An imitation of Tia Dalma, the witch from the Pirates of Caribbean, told fortunes by reading a pile of bones, inside her wood shack. Full-time mother, Shannon Jordan who played Tia Dalma, is a long-time Halloween lover and a first time actress. She loves to dress up so much that she even had a medieval themed wedding so she went forward with full force when she was given this opportunity.
“The love for Halloween has always been there for me…the fun side, not the morbid zombie side,” she said.
The man that got the city to celebrate Halloween in a whole new way this year is Oshawa resident Chris Trubela.
“I love Halloween, always have. It just seemed natural to have a Halloween parade in Oshawa…People love dressing up.”
He began prepping for the parade about a year ago. Unfortunately no amount of preparation could work around rainy, cold fall weather that he said shrunk the turnout quite a bit, and cancelled the live music planned for Memorial Park because of safety concerns. But he said many participants were already talking about how much bigger everything was going to be next year.
“People really put a lot of effort into this and really embraced it,” he said.
Despite the enormous task of organizing such an event Trubela recognized the success of this year’s event and is looking forward to next year’s Halloween Parade in Downtown Oshawa. To find out about next year’s events or to volunteer contact Oshawa Halloween Parade.