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Bloomfield Halloween parade back from the dead

Tony LaRussa
| Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 1:48 p.m.
The North Allegheny High School marching band is a regular participant in the annual Halloween Parade in Bloomfield.
The North Allegheny High School marching band is a regular participant in the annual Halloween Parade in Bloomfield.

The Halloween parade in Bloomfield is back on after a successful fundraising effort to cover the cost of the annual costumed march down Liberty Avenue, the city announced Tuesday.

The Bloomfield Citizens Council, which has sponsored the parade in Pittsburgh's Little Italy neighborhood for the past 49 years, announced last week that this year's parade was being canceled because it has become too costly.

But residents and organizers of Bloomfield's annual Little Italy Days and the Columbus Day Parade led a fundraising drive to save the parade, which is now scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 26, Mayor Bill Peduto's office announced.

“This is a nearly 50-year-old tradition beloved by generations, and there was no way we were going to let it end,” the mayor said in a statement.

The Halloween parade has grown to nearly 2,000 participants and regularly attracts more than 10,000 spectators, making it the largest annual night-time parade in the city, according to organizers.

Little Italy Days President Sal Richetti and Columbus Day Parade Chairman Guy Costa have collected funds to pay the expenses for the Halloween parade, which includes funding for entertainers, insurance and permit fees, Peduto said.

Costa credited Bloomfield resident Shannon Lyons for being “instrumental in keeping this family-friendly tradition alive, which means so much to the community.”

Peduto said supporters of the fundraising effort included Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, state Sen. Jay Costa and city council members Deb Gross and Dan Gilman.

Highmark, Allegheny Health Network and West Penn Hospital also made major donations to the parade, the mayor said.

City officials noted that the 32nd annual Pittsburgh Columbus Day Parade in Bloomfield will go on as scheduled this Saturday at 11 a.m.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-772-6368, tlarussa@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

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