The York Halloween Parade has been going on since she was a kid.
"I would hope a corporation or business would come forward to save it," said Margie Orr, president of the York City School Board. "It's a fun thing for our kids, and I'd hope it would be continued."
Thanks to an anonymous sponsor who donated $15,000, the YWCA has started planning this year's event.
The organization had indicated the parade could be in jeopardy if a top sponsor didn't step forward, and next year's parade is still in question.
Without a top sponsor during the last two years, the organization has had to absorb some of the costs, said spokeswoman Katie Lauderbaugh.
It costs the YWCA about $30,000 to operate the parade, she said, because of fees associated with road closures, equipment rentals, port-a-potties and more.
Since taking on the parade during the middle of the last decade, the agency has striven to pay that bill with help from a top sponsor, additional sponsors and donations.
The parade was previously hosted by the city, but it is unlikely the city will take over in 2013.
"It is doubtful that the city would be in a position financially to take this event back. We would hope another nonprofit or group would step forward with an interest in running the parade," said James Gross, director of the city's Department of Public Works.
Questions remain about the YWCA's ability to host the parade next year. In a press release issued Wednesday morning, the agency said that it will again be contingent on a top sponsor's stepping forward.
"While it disappoints us to announce the possible discontinuation of this beloved community event, we simply cannot justify cutting back on our other services," Jennifer Brillhart, chief development officer of the YWCA, said in a statement.
The York agency provides domestic and sexual violence services, counseling, child care, youth development and more, Lauderbaugh said.
YWCA leaders are seeking either donations for the 2013 parade, or another community organization or business to step forward and lead the event, which typically attracts 30,000 York County residents as spectators and participants.
In addition to costumed children and adults, the parade also features local high school bands, floats designed by local businesses and organizations, antique cars, dance studio performances, horses and stagecoaches, and more. This year's parade, slated for 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, will travel a route along Market Street from the York Fairgrounds to Lehman Street, and it includes a theme.
Because the York-Hanover area was ranked the third most-obese metro area in the United States, according to a 2010 Gallup study, this year's theme will be health and fitness.
To amplify that theme, the agency will host a first-ever, one-mile Pumpkin Run before the parade, allowing participants to be part of a costume contest and timed race, beginning 15 minutes before the parade.
For more information or to become a sponsor, call the YWCA at 845-2631 or visit ywcayork.org.
- Candy Woodall can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.