No one does Halloween quite like Hiawatha and because of this, the community has been declared “Halloween Town” for the state of Kansas by governor proclamation.
The Hiawatha Chamber and Visitors Bureau received word late last week of the proclamation and this week the paperwork arrived, signed by Gov. Laura Kelly and with her seal.
The verbiage of the proclamation is as follows:
TO THE PEOPLE OF KANSAS, GREETINGS:
WHEREAS, the celebration of Halloween leads to an outlet for children to exercise their imagination.
WHEREAS, the Halloween Parade and Frolic provides recognition for the town of Hiawatha and the State of Kansas in a positive manner.
WHEREAS, the Hiawatha Halloween Parade and Frolic gives a creative outlet for youth and creates opportunities for them to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills, while reinforcing other skills learned in an academic setting.
WHEREAS, Local, State and World news outlets have acknowledged the important role the Hiawatha Halloween Parades and Frolic have impacted the United States.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Laura Kelly, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF Kansas, do hereby proclaim Hiawatha, Kansas as
for the month of October. All residents are urged to give their full support to the town and their history of changing the face of Halloween across the United States.
BY THE GOVERNOR: Laura Kelly
HCVB Board President Kate Miller said she is beyond excited by the honor as the community is approaching the 105th Halloween Frolic later this month on Oct. 31 and tells how the honor came about.
“Having the unique history of having the oldest Halloween Parade and Frolic in the United States is something to be celebrated,” she said. “Our NE Kansas area has of course been celebrating this fact for 105 years this October, but I have always believed Hiawatha can be a destination location for Halloween lovers, increasing our town’s traffic flow for our business and organizations.”
Miller said part of making that happen is expanding the celebration and focusing on helping the rest of Kansas celebrate this uniquely Kansas celebration.
“We do receive national attention yearly — the Travel Channel, the History Channel, newspapers across the United States, podcasts and shows like Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” have picked up on the legacy Mrs. Krebs left us,” she continued. “Our history is celebrated, but the understanding the parades and Frolics have continued for 105 years isn’t focused on. I felt one way to help get that ball rolling was to petition the governor to declare us Halloween Town — because no one does Halloween quite like us!”
With the blessing of the HCVB board, Miller said she moved forward and was delighted when news came that Gov. Kelly had agreed.
“Our work isn’t done, this is just one small step in continuing efforts to re-educate our area about why our celebration is important, to educate Kansans and beyond,” she said. “Do do that, calculated efforts have to be made and supported by our community. We are so fortunate to live in a community that embraces its history and traditions and are proud of them.”
Miller said she encourages everyone to continue to share our parade and the Frolic information to help spread the word.
“Together we can and will accomplish the task at hand and go beyond these dreams,” she said.
This year’s Frolic and parades will be Thursday, Oct. 31, with the Miss Mary Children’s Costume Contest at 1 p.m., Afternoon Parade at 3 p.m., Queen Crowning at 6 p.m. and Grand Parade at 7 p.m. down Oregon Street. Don’t miss out on the Frolic activities and downtown business trick-or-treating from 3:30-5 p.m. downtown around the courthouse square.
Find the Hiawatha Halloween Frolic on social media or contact the HCVB at 742-7136 or by email at email@example.com for information on this month’s events.