77th Rotary Halloween Parade celebrates 150 years of courthouse

77th Rotary Halloween Parade celebrates 150 years of

CARLINVILLE (Nov. 2, 2017) – Carlinville kicked off Halloween celebrations last Thursday, Oct. 26 with its annual Merchant’s Night. Trick-‘r-treaters and parents in the hundreds made their way around the square, going from business to business to show off their costumes and score plenty of candy and other treats from the participating merchants.

The main event of this year’s Halloween celebration arrived Saturday night, Oct. 28, when those bold enough to brave the unseasonably cold sub-40 degree temperatures witnessed the Carlinville Rotary Club’s 77th Annual Halloween Parade. This year’s theme celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Macoupin County Courthouse with “Historical Moments.”

As in many years prior, participants formed a line at Carlinville Plaza and followed Route 4 down North Broad St. to the square. Those watching near the square were able to enjoy commentary from Masters of Ceremonies Dan O’Brien and Kathy Gahr. The pair also oversaw the ceremonies following the parade.

County Clerk Pete Duncan served as the Grand Marshal this year, while Abe Lincoln himself (Randy Duncan) along with all Macoupin County employees served as Marshals. Following the parade Abe Lincoln recited the Gettysburg Address for the gathered crowd before a Rotary Queen was crowned.

This year’s senior Rotary Queen winner was Madelynn Williams, daughter of Christopher and Melissa Williams. She was escorted by Garrett Campbell. The runners up were Ryleigh Gibbel, daughter of Eric and Alyssa Gibbel, and Sydney Cania, daughter of Rocco and Sandra Cania. The junior, sophomore and freshman members of the Rotary Queen’s Court were, respectively, Karli McCaherty, daughter of Rick and Jill McCaherty, Avery Kufa, daughter of Scott and Vanessa Kufa and Matilda Mitchell, daughter of Clinton and Marissa Mitchell.

Before the parade a costume contest was held at City Hall for both single and group costumes. For the individual results, first and second place winners were Charlie Harding and Taylor Harding respectively for their military themed costumes. Third place winner Quincy Harding was a kitty. The group costume prizes went to first place winners Evan and Kelly Hergenrother for their Ghostbusters themed costumes and the second place winner was the Zimmer family whose costumes were themed after “special books” in honor of the 90th anniversary of Carlinville Public Library (Pippi Longstocking, Sherlock Holmes, Dorothy Gale, the Cat in the Hat, Where’s Waldo, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Harry Potter were all featured).

This year’s best of parade winner was a characteristically festive float from Reno’s Pizza. Reno’s float also won first place in the commercial float category ahead of second place winner United Community Bank and third place winner Ace Hardware.

In the civic and fraternal category of floats, first place went to Macoupin Meth Coalition, second place to Macoupin County Queens and third place was awarded  to Macoupin Dance Academy.

Carlinville High School’s first and second place winners, the Senior and Junior class respectively, conspicuously shared an imprisonment theme with both of their unique floats honoring the historic Macoupin County “Cannonball” Jail. The Sophomores’ spooky float came in third for the high school.

The winner for the best religious float category was Gillespie United Methodist Church.

The youth organization winner was Cub Scout Pack 65 in first place, followed by Macoupin Dance Academy in second and Girl Scout Troop 6296 in third.

Finally the healthcare category winners were Carlinville Area Hospital in first place, followed by Celtic Hospice and Home Health in second and Heritage Health Therapy in third.

Finally, awards were given to the horses in the parade as well. The best individual horse belonged to Mike Meng while second place was taken by Jake Lippold. The group category winner was listed as Wendy and Kirstie.


The 50/50 ticket winner is numbered 6649876. If you have the winning ticket call Matt Gazda (217) 854-5411, Amy Kline (217) 854-5136 or  Kathy Gahr (217) 370-0494.