Editor's Note: As of Saturday morning, the parade has been canceled due to safety issues. See story here.
With traveling pipe organs, ghoulish drumming circles, a zombie cage, fire dancing and marching creatures of all kids, downtown Collinsville will once again turn into a village of terror Saturday night.
Saturday, Oct. 29, marks the 18th annual Collinsville Halloween Parade. It will once again feature a parade that begins at the Collinsville “Hysterical” Museum, proceeds down Main Street and loops around back to the starting point. Along the way, there will be plenty of entertainment like drum circles, a candy cannon and refreshments provided by Collinsville Congregational Church.
Near the end of the line, the Judges of Doom will choose finalists for the various categories of costume judging.
Overseeing it all from the museum will be the monster of ceremonies, Collinsville’s own Boosilini, better known as artist "Jon Art."
“I get to be a monster once a year and throw candy at children and make them scream,” said John Squier, the man behind both personas.
This year will feature some new aspects such as the raining of “magic light from above.”
Squier is tight lipped about the planned surprise but said it is something that will last beyond the event.
“You can take the magic home,” he said.
Squier said many people work together to keep the event going. He said the church’s involvement has been a nice addition.
“I consider it a nice connection between the church and the community,” he said.
Squier said the event keeps building and has grown to include Farmington Dance and the Haunted Belly Dancers among the many others.
He also credits Collinsville regular Chip Heuer with innovation and drive to help keep the event alive.
“I can’t overemphasize how much Chip has put into keeping this going,” he said.
Squier has been part of the event since the beginning. He, Mark Mercier and Ken Carder organized the first parade.
“I’m impressed and surprised by the longevity of the event,” Squier said.
With insurance, police officers and props it takes about $1,000 per year to put on the event, Squier said. Those who want to contribute can check out the special edition long-sleeved shirts available at , , and other downtown locations. They are available with a minimum $50 donation to the Collinsville Artists Initiative.
The parade begins at 7 p.m. People will begin gathering around 6 p.m., with dance performances starting about 6:30 p.m.