Reverse Parade

The Morton Pumpkin Festival Parade has been a part of the Morton community for generations. We are re-imagining our parade to promote social distancing and offer an opportunity for businesses to safely engage with the community.

Date: Saturday, September 19
Time: 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM, last car at 2:00 PM
Location: Morton VFW Post 5921, 2310 Veterans Rd.
Parade Marshal Host: Doug Shull

2020 Parade Float Winners:

Grand Prize: Ackerman Family Farms
First Place Noncommercial: Cub Scout Pack 85
First Place Commercial: Morton Community Bank

2019 Parade Float Winners
Grand Prize: Morton Buildings
1st Commercial: Better Banks
2nd Commercial: Kevin Kelly Jewelers
3rd Commercial: Morton Community Bank
1st Non-Commercial: Girl Scout Troop 4969
2nd Non-Commercial: Eastside Bible Church
3rd Non-Commercial: Aperion Care Morton Villa

One of the premier events at the Morton Pumpkin Festival is the Morton Pumpkin Festival Parade. Held Saturday morning at 10:30 am along Jefferson Street, the parade boasts over 100 entries including floats, marching bands, antique vehicles, and popular children’s characters.

The parade route will again feature our Parade Donut Stands. Stop by these bright blue Pepsi concession trailers, located in key spots along Jefferson Street, for pumpkin donuts, coffee, milk, and cold beverages.  Hosted by Tazewell County Resource Center (TCRC), these stands are the perfect way to enjoy a taste of the Morton Pumpkin Festival while also supporting a local non-profit organization.  TCRC will also be selling pumpkin donuts from golf carts along the parade route!

Don’t forget to bring a bag to collect candy and toys, handed out by many of our Festival entries, and please wear ORANGE to the parade to show your pumpkin spirit!

We can’t wait to see you at the Morton Pumpkin Festival Parade! If you can’t join us in person, watch the parade streaming live from your home or office at www.mortonpumpkinfestival.org.

Thank you to our sponsor:

What is a Reverse Parade?

To showcase our community’s creativity and celebrate our local businesses and organizations, Roaring Pumpkins and All That Jazz will host a Reverse Parade this year. This year, instead of having our floats travel down the parade route, parade attendees will drive along a lineup of stationery parade floats at the Morton VFW Post 5921, 2310 Veterans Rd.

This will be a float-only parade. All floats will be asked to be decorated and/or constructed to the Roaring Pumpkins and All That Jazz theme. Groups that normally participate in the parade but do not have a float (marching bands, walking groups, etc.) will have the option of submitting a 30-second video that will be compiled with other entries and shared on the Festival Facebook and YouTube pages. Marching bands can submit a song up to 2-minutes.

Float entries will be asked to park their float in place by 8:30 AM on Saturday, September 19 before the parade attendees arrive. Each entry may only request a single space that is 25 ft. The float will remain in this spot until 2:30 PM, after the last car finishes the route (last car will be admitted at 2:00 PM).

For the safety of our float entries, volunteers, and attendees, float entries are encouraged to drop off their floats and return to pick them up after 2:30pm.

 

Floats will not be permitted to pass out anything during the Reverse Parade, but may submit heat resistant candy or other handout items to be added to a family goodie bag that will be handed out to the first 50 cars that arrive each hour (10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm)

 

*Due to being limited to a certain amount of space, there will only be 30 floats in this year’s parade.*

 

Entries that wish to be judged will compete for the $250 Grand Prize and $100 for Best Commercial and $100 Non-Commercial Entry.

Thank you to our sponsor:

Parade Rules & Regulations

The Parade Chairmen have the authority to remove any unit from the parade that violates these rules.

All units must be pre-registered and include a description of their entry.  Pre-registration also includes providing the name and mobile phone number of the “Parade Unit On-Site Contact” concerning the parade entry.  The Parade Unit On-Site Contact is required to be familiar with these parade rules and regulations, is responsible for the entry’s adherence to them, and be on-site with the parade entry on the day of the parade. 

Parade entries must be decorated to the 2019 Festival theme — “Luck O’ the Pumpkins”

No weapons or items resembling a weapon. If you are in doubt about whether something is a weapon or resembles a weapon, please do not bring it to the parade. If you bring such items, you will be kindly asked to put the items away during the parade.

Float entries must be on a hayrack or flatbed trailer. Maximum height of floats is 13 feet, 9 inches in order to clear electrical lines.

All walkers must be 8 years old or older. Younger children can safely ride on floats or be pushed/pulled in strollers or wagons accompanied by an adult. For safety, please make sure walkers stay a safe distance from vehicles and floats at all times.

Entries must keep their unit moving along the parade route and must keep a distance of no more than 30 feet between their unit and the entry in front of them.

No literature may be distributed.

No confetti or streamers may be thrown.

Candy or toys may be distributed as follows:

  • No candy or toys can be thrown from a float, car, truck, or tractor
  • Candy or toys may be thrown into the crowd by people walking alongside an entry.
  • Walkers must be a minimum of 5’ away from an entry when throwing candy or toys.
  • Entries should not stop along the route for candy/toy throwers to refill their containers.

Antique and custom vehicles may enter individually or as part of a group with a limit of 5 vehicles for any one group. Antique tractors pulling a float will be counted as part of the float entry.

Marching/Walking units are limited to:

  • Morton Boy Scout or Girl Scout Club
  • Marching Band
  • Flag or Rifle Corp
  • Military/Veteran’s organization
  • Politicians, as noted by rules regarding political entries
  • Mascots and kid-friendly characters

Semi units are not permitted in the parade.

Animal units are required to have their own cleanup system and/or crew.

Commercial Vehicles may enter the parade if they are:

  • Pulling a float decorated to festival theme.
  • Being used by a non-profit Morton organization and are decorated to festival theme.
  • Being used by approved dignitary.

Area politicians may enter as a separate unit or may ride on the float/entry for their party. This includes State Senators, State Representatives, Judges, Regional/County offices, and local offices.

No inflammatory, negative, or profane language or messaging

No scary costumes or haunted house related entries

No flips, back-hand-springs, or acrobatics of any kind

No provocative clothing, displays, or signage

Do not leave any personal items in Lincoln School’s bathrooms at the beginning of the Parade route. The schools will be locked up as soon as the parade finishes stepping off.

Parade officials reserve the right to restrict, limit, or reject (at any time including during the parade) any entry that in the sole determination of parade officials is inflammatory, controversial, and/or upsetting, or does not abide by the rules and regulations.

Parade officials will welcome and visit with parade entries and their Parade Unit On-Site Contacts during the staging of the parade in order to promote compliance with these rules and regulations. We please ask for your cooperation in making the parade enjoyable for all concerned. 

Parade Rules & Regulations

Float entries must be decorated to the 2020 theme –– “Roaring Pumpkins And All That Jazz”. Driver’s side and front of trailer will be on display, as floats will be parked on an angle (see example)

Float entries must be on a hayrack or flatbed trailer and no longer than 25 feet. Maximum height of floats is 13 feet, 9 inches in order to clear electrical lines

Float entries must bring their own wheel chocks and are asked to park and leave their float.

All signage and props must stay on your float.

No foot traffic will be allowed along the car traffic route.

No weapons or items resembling a weapon.  If you are in doubt about whether something is a weapon or resembles a weapon, please do not include it on your float. If such items are included, you will be kindly asked to put the items away.

No literature may be distributed.  

Candy and toys may not be distributed. Float entries can opt to submit candy and/or shop local deals and promotions for the family goodie bags that will be distributed at the beginning of the route (approx. 200 bags to be given out)

Priority for spaces will be given to floats. Antique and custom vehicles will be added to a wait list. Marching, walking, and political entries, and all other parade entries are encouraged to submit a video or participate in the Business-In-Place Expo or All Jazzed Up Decoration Contests at their place of business.

No inflammatory, negative, or profane language or messaging

No scary costumes or haunted house related entries

No provocative clothing, displays, or signage 

Parade officials reserve the right to restrict, limit, or reject (at any time including during the parade) any entry that in the sole determination of parade officials is inflammatory, controversial, and/or upsetting, or does not abide by the rules and regulations. 

Parade officials will welcome and visit with parade entries and their Drop-Off/Pick-Up unit contacts during the staging of the parade in order to promote compliance with these rules and regulations.  We please ask for your cooperation in making the parade enjoyable for all concerned.