Kid-lit icons leave pages for parade

Oct. 27, 2012 @ 09:01 AM

ELLENBORO — Hundreds of third, fourth and fifth graders marched into Ellenboro Elementary School disguised as characters from their favorite books on Friday morning.

At about 9 a.m., a stretch of Pointy Mountain Road was closed off for the school's annual book character parade — a Halloween tradition designed to turn reading into a more active experience for kids.

During the parade, a truck from the Ellenboro Fire Department led scores of costumed children — and more than a few teachers — on a path that looped from the road to the front doors of the school.

The East High School marching band, meanwhile, provided a rousing soundtrack for the event.   

The parade featured an array of figures from all forms of literature, ranging from widely recognized characters such as Batman, Harry Potter and Curious George, to characters from lesser known titles.

Impressively, the vast majority of the costumes appeared to be handmade — including a colorful float based on the Magic School Bus and a painstakingly detailed replica of the Iron Giant.  

A crowd of parents and younger students watched from the lawn surrounding the parade route.

Several county officials and school board members were in attendance, as well.

"They like to visit and see some of the unique things we do here, from time-to-time," Principal Bill Bass said.

According to Bass, the character parade has been a holiday staple at Ellenboro Elementary for more than 20 years, though he was unsure of the exact year it started.

As with previous parades, a costume contest was held in the school auditorium shortly after the outdoor march.  

"The costumes this year were just outstanding,"  Bass said. "They were absolutely incredible."