US Halloween Parades in Illinois – 2012

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan

Illinois Costumes Inspires all of the US Costume Designers

Illinois is the 5th most populous state in the US. Most costume designers and the majority of all American Halloween themed costumes are directly and indirectly connected with this state. All over the state you will see Halloween Parades and you don’t have to look too far for ideas. From Indians like keokuk, cowboys, wild west hero like Wyatt Earp and his brothers (famous O.K. Corral shootout); Political figures like Betty Ford, Ronald Reagan, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton; Famous sexy costumes like Hugh Hephner; Scary monsters and fanged clowns liked the notorious John Wayne Gacy (rapist, murderer of 33 young boys and liked dressing up as a clown like the character in Stephen Kings book IT) and the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski;   Lovable, fairy tale princess costumes like Mr. Walt Disney’s creations; Creative types like writer Ernest Hemingway, actor Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger), Mr. T. , Robin Williams, Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones) and the lovable Betty White; Even superheros like Batman where Christopher Nolan’s depiction of Gotham has a distinct Chicago architecture. In  ”Batman Begins,” Gotham City is a CGI digital version of Chicago, and The Dark Knight directly features Chicago infrastructure and architecture. All the above are themes American children have seen at all the Halloween parades across the US, and all have originated in Illinois.

Oktoberfest Guy and Girl couple costumes

Couples Oktoberfest Halloween Costume

Best Couples Halloween Costume Votes for Illinois

Classic Halloween couples costumes all have roots in Illinois. Like the Oktoberfest Guy and Girl couple costumes from the German immigrants that not only brought great food and Oktoberfest but also beer & cheese! From the Swedes, we have the lovable, sexy and very warrior Viking Halloween Couple Costumes, and my favorite so far as I write this would be Batman and Batgirl couples costume. They are both smart, savvy, sexy and wealthy; nothing nicer then these costumes parading around for a great night in Gotham, aka The Windy City. :)

Not surprising that seafaring Halloween themes are always good, but for more of a statement think of the gangster costumes. Think Bonnie and Clyde or Al Capone!! Gangsters have been a part of Illinois history as far back as the late 1800′s when crime was on the rise and gangsters were establishing their imprint on the face of Chicago neighborhoods like the mob in NYC.  By 1892, gangster and gambling tycoon, John “Mushmouth” Johnson, opened the Emporium Saloon only to continue opening other gambling establishments. By the 1920′s, the gangsters were headline news all over America, and they continue to be a fantastic Halloween outfit today.

As money opportunities grew and with the help of the Great Migration, African Americans migrating from the South brought Jazz and Blues which intertwined into Chicago Blues. If you’re celebrating in Chicago, music could be a great theme this Halloween!

Illinois Home To Pumpkin Capital of the World, Halloween Movie

Celtic pumpkin for Halloween

Celtic pumpkin for Halloween

Morton, Illinois produces 90 percent of the canned pumpkin puree used throughout the country to make the holiday’s favorite dessert. So it is not surprising it also hosts one of the larger Halloween celebrations in the state. It has to be the the biggest buyer of pumpkin costumes too. Morton does have some competition from other towns making claim to the title including Anamosa, Iowa; Half Moon Bay, California; Circleville, Ohio; and Floydada, Texas.

The Halloween movies were initially set in Haddonfield, Illinois. The John Carpenter film features Michael Myers – a character who offers costume opportunities for children, teens and adults. Myers kills at the opening of the first film at age 6, then escapes years later as an adult and dons the mask he had been creating in the psych ward crafts classes.

Chicago Loves Halloween Hosts Chicagoween

The love the city of Chicago has for this holiday is reflected in Chicagoween – a five day spooktacular that takes over Daley Plaza. Events include a Midnight circus, a kids costume contest and daily special happenings geared to get everyone ready for the day itself.

Halloween Parades in Illinois by City

If you know of any others, please leave information about it in our comments section. We will verify
and add to our list.

Childrens Halloween Parade

Childrens Halloween Parade

Centralia Fall Festival and Halloween Parade
Oct 27, 2012 1 pm Downtown Centralia

The parade part of this Fall Festival is for children of all ages. Everyone must be in costume to participate. Marching bands, floats and more join the children as they march down Poplar Street. There is a craft fair and flea market at the end of the parade, as well as a chili cook-off at Centralia Recreation Complex.

Oct 26-30, 2012 All Day Daley Plaza and throughout the city

Daley Plaza is renamed Franken Plaza for this five day event. They hold a Dead Man’s Ball and many
other festivities.

Edwardsville Halloween Parade
Oct 31, 2012 6:30 pm Lincoln Middle School

This year’s parade has the theme of “Oh the Places You’ll Go” – a Dr Seuss theme! Floats and Dr Seuss character costumes will be in abundance, but as the organizers note, the floats can also reflect places you want to go, too. So grab the kids and enjoy an inspired night that may take you away to exotic locales.

Galena's 34th Annual Halloween Parade & Festival

Galena's 34th Annual Halloween Parade & Festival

Galena’s 34th Annual Halloween Parade & Festival
Oct 27, 2012 6:30 pm Downtown Galena

This parade had over 14,000 people attend last year. Come see the Spooktacular floats, marching bands and ghosts and goblins. There are even Hot Air Balloons. The Festival takes place on Washington & Perry Streets and starts at noon.

Glen Ellyn Halloween Parade
Oct 27, 2012 10 am – 1 pm

This The Lion’s Club sponsored parade runs through downtown Vandalia and lasts about 2 hours. It includes floats and costumed children.

About Becky