“Birds, Bats and Bugs…. Oh, MY!” — For love of critters that flitter, flutter and fly!
Noon – 5pm, Halloween, Sunday, October 31; ‘Light Rain or Shine!’
D&R Greenway Land Trust announces their second Masquerade Parade, to be held at the land trust’s historic St. Michaels Farm Preserve on Sunday, October 31. This drive-through holiday festival is designed for daylight hours on Halloween afternoon from noon until 5pm.
As with last year’s Parade, visitors’ cars will move past exciting stationary ‘floats’ on both sides of the Preserve’s pastoral roadway. These nature ‘floats’ are being designed by local organizations to evoke their mission with the event theme: “Birds, Bats and Bugs… Oh, MY!” Visitors are also invited to decorate their cars to this theme. It was chosen to honor Nature’s small but mighty ambassadors, whose pollinations are essential to life itself. Costumes are welcome and attendees are encouraged to create eye-catching signs revealing their favorite bird, bat or bug, as well as a fun fact about their favorite creature.
This Masquerade Parade will be held ‘light rain or shine.’ If severe weather cancels the Parade, we will host a Zoom party on Friday evening, November 5, in which each Float Group will present their creations, the audience voting for best ‘float!’
D&R Greenway Photographers of Preservation will stroll throughout the Parade. Their unique images of the decorated cars, themed ‘floats’, costumed musicians, and St. Michaels’ expansive natural beauty will be available on D&R Greenway’s website during the week following the event. Guests may create free downloads, thus ‘re-living’ this unique day.
Vehicles will “line up” in the Hopewell Elementary School parking lot, then migrate to St. Michaels Farm Preserve at the new Princeton Avenue entrance closest to town (Hopewell).
Best-selling author/artist Patrick McDonnell, creator of the MUTTS comic strip, is creating an iconic artwork to delight Parade-goers. Every parade has live music: ours will feature and our very own musician, Bill Flemer of Riverside Bluegrass Band on D&R Greenway’s ‘float’.
At departure, each car will receive a nature-themed goody bag of Halloween surprises, including the recently released children’s book, Princesses wear Dresses. With its theme of, “Because what makes a princess a princess is not what she wears, nor how her hair looks, nor what’s on her head,” author Dana Kvalheim and illustrators Lauren Kvalheim and Keeley Nolan convey a significant message with merriment and vigor.
To Pre-Register your Carload of Parade-Goers, visit www.drgreenway.org. Timed tickets are available starting from Noon – 5:00 pm, at $25 per carload. Ticket purchases and Sponsorships support the land trust’s mission of preserving land and inspiring a conservation ethic now and forever.
Hikers, dog walkers and bicyclists are asked to access St. Michaels Farm Preserve through the Aunt Molly Road entrance on October 31 as the Princeton Avenue entrance and related trails will be closed to the public for the Parade.
Funds from this unique event will expand the land trust’s preservation and stewardship accomplishments in central New Jersey. Public enthusiasm for D&R Greenway’s 44 miles of trails has continuously mounted as COVID 19 requires people to re-imagine their lives and discover new trails, even interact newly with Nature itself. Thanks to the generosity of donors and partners, previous fundraisers and conservation-related events, the preservation of our 317th property has soared to over 21,200 New Jersey acres. This achievement secures countless sites for accessible healthy activity, enhancing fitness while protecting and expanding New Jersey’s natural beauty and crucial habitat for wild creatures, such as “Birds, Bars and Bugs… Oh, MY!”. The vigor of public response to our trails during the COVID challenge demonstrates that “Keeping Open Space Open” is more vital than ever before.