The 2020 King Frost Parade in Hamburg Borough has been canceled due to coronavirus canceling its biggest fundraiser in May.
“It is with deep regret that I write this post to inform you that we have decided to forego the 57th Annual King Frost Parade this year,” the Hamburg Jaycees announced on the King Frost Parade Facebook page on July 23.
The King Frost Parade has been sponsored by the Hamburg Jaycees every year since 1964.
“As all of you are probably aware, the King Frost Parade has been a staple in the Borough of Hamburg since its revival in 1964. Our parade has served as a homecoming of sorts for people far and wide and we have had tremendous success for years. We have NEVER missed a year since 1964. Some rain delays, yes, but have never missed a parade! This decision was not made lightly.”
The Jaycees posted that COVID-19 prevented them from hosting their annual Family Festival over Memorial Day Weekend in Hamburg, which is the number one fundraiser for the King Frost Parade.
“Without this income, we simply cannot afford to put the parade down the street, nor do we feel it is a guaranteed safe thing to do,” according to the post. “The parade takes many months of planning and fundraising and we think it is just better to make the call now than to drag everyone along for the ride and end up canceling later.”
The Jaycees expressed their appreciation to everyone for their support and enjoyment of the parade year after year.
“We appreciate your attendance, as well as your financial support. Without you, there would be no reason to hold this event.”
King Frost Parade’s History
The King Frost Parade dates to 1910 when a group of guys who hung around the local hardware store got to talking about Halloween high-jinx, and Jack Walker came up with the idea of a celebration, such as a big parade to provide seasonal fun and perhaps draw kids from mischief into less destructive trickery, according to a 2007 Hamburg Item article by Janet Barr.
“The concept found its way into print in the Hamburg Item, and in a very short time the enthusiasm grew and produced more ideas and offers of help, not only from Hamburg but from surrounding areas… Every little town had a band, and they all wanted to be in on the fun. People thought of costumes to make, or dragged old ones from attics. The word spread outward like ripples on a pond. On parade day, people came by train, team and auto to see or take part in Hamburg's Halloween celebration,” according to Barr’s article on the history of the parade. “By 1911, the Halloween celebration had a name, King Frost. It consisted of three parades: an agricultural/industrial one in the afternoon, then a procession of decorated autos, and then the ‘fantastic’ at night, with the torch-lit darkness adding to the spirit of things.”
The Future of the King Frost Parade
Promising the return of the King Frost Parade in 2021, the Jaycees wrote in the post, “I assure you, King Frost has not contracted COVID-19 and he will not pass away from this virus. King Frost will reign supreme in 2021!”
The 2021 parade is scheduled to be held on Saturday, Oct. 30.
“We urge you to save this date.”
The parade committee is moving forward to start preparing for next year's parade and encourages the community to help.
“You can make plans to participate next year, and you could reach out to us and purchase a 2020 King Frost Parade pin, we will have the design shortly. Pins will be available on a very limited basis. The details for sales are still being worked out, we will communicate this when it is decided.”
All proceeds from pin sales go directly to the success and continuation of the parade.
Concluding the post, the Jaycees wrote, “Please remain safe. Wash your hands. Wear your masks, and keep family close to your heart during these difficult and trying times. Thank you all for your understanding.”
For more information and for updates, follow King Frost Parade on Facebook.