The host of York's annual Halloween Parade is stepping aside.
If the 63-year-old tradition is to continue beyond 2012, someone else will need to take the reins from the York YWCA.
It costs about $30,000 to put on the parade, which will weave through York City at least one more time on October 28.
That money pays for promotion, road closures, equipment rentals, port-a-potties and reimbursements to the city's fire and police departments, said Katie Mahoney, the YWCA's special-events coordinator.
"It doesn't sound like it's really expensive, but it really adds up," she said.
The city hosted the parade until six years ago, when the YWCA took over. Since then, the organization has struggled to find sponsors willing to offset the cost. Earlier this summer, an anonymous donor came forward with $15,000 after the YWCA indicated the parade could be in jeopardy if a top sponsor did not step forward.
But the YWCA is still about $10,000 short of its fundraising goal, Mahoney said. As in past years, the YWCA - which provides domestic- and sexual-violence services, counseling, child care and youth-development programs to the community - will cover the difference if no one else steps forward.
"While it disappoints us to announce the discontinuation of this beloved community event, we simply cannot justify cutting back on our other services," Jennifer Brillhart, the YWCA's chief development officer, said in a news release.
Beyond the fundraising, hosting the event is "a big time commitment," Mahoney said.
"It's a huge staff time commitment. You need a really strong committee. You need a lot of really dedicated volunteers," she said. "If you could find dedicated sponsors, that would be a big saving grace."
The YWCA is willing to help another organization transition to hosting the parade, Mahoney said.
"We'd really hate to see it not continue," she said.
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 YWCA 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.
Anyone interested in sponsoring or hosting the parade should contact Brillhart at (717) 845-2631.- Erin James may also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.