Halloween parade set for Oct. 31 in downtown Paxton

PAXTON — The Paxton Park District’s board of commissioners finalized plans for the annual park district-sponsored Halloween Parade during its meeting last week.

The event is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31. 

Kids in costume are asked by park district Recreation Director Neal McKenry to plan to meet at 4 p.m. around the corner of Market and Orleans streets, where the parade will begin. 

“We’ll be walking up Market Street to the Paxton fire department, where kids will receive their trick-or-treat bags,” McKenry said. “Kids will then be able to walk back downtown and visit any local businesses participating in trick-or-treating.”

Paxton’s designated trick-or-treating hours are 5-8 p.m. that day.

Items of business tabled
A decision was not made during last week’s meeting regarding whether to institute a smoke-free parks ordinance.

The issue will be revisited next month.

“We thought it’d be beneficial to wait and see what the city came up with at the city council meeting (on Oct. 10) regarding a similar ordinance,” McKenry said. “Ideally, we’d all like to be on the same page.”

The board also tabled the approval of an ordinance authorizing the district to borrow $100,000 through general obligation bonds. The ordinance would also allow the district to levy property taxes to repay the bonds.

The matter was tabled for an adjourned meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24.

Also postponed until that meeting was the approval of an ordinance authorizing the district to levy taxes for the fiscal year that starts Feb. 1, 2018, and ends Jan. 31, 2019.

“Legally, bond and levy issues like these require a minimum number of days (for the ordinances) to be made available for public view before any action is taken,” McKenry noted.

Also last week, the board discussed the possible purchase of new parking blocks for the Paxton Civic Center’s parking lot. That item was tabled, as well.

“It was determined that it’d be best if we waited until the new parking lot was finished before putting a number and price onto how many parking blocks we’d need,” McKenry said. 

Update on youth programs
Also at the meeting, McKenry reported to the board about the youth recreation activities taking place. Among the programs discussed was a new karate class that has been well received based on the number of kids who signed up.

The district added an additional time slot to the program due to more than 40 kids signing up, McKenry said.

“We will definitely be continuing this program once this current, eight-week program ends,” McKenry said.

McKenry also said participation numbers in ballet, gymnastics and girls’ volleyball have increased since last season.

“Youth flag football is the only program so far that we’ve experienced a decrease in participation,” McKenry said. “Registration for our youth basketball program will be out any day.”

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