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23rd Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade

One of Del Ray’s favorite traditions, the 23rd Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade, will be take place Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2pm. The Parade and all activities are free!

 Following the parade awards are given for Best Pet Costume, Best Decorated Business, Best Decorated Home, and Best Decorated Stroller during a brief ceremony.  There is no fee to compete for Best Costume or Best Decorated contests. Judges include elected officials and city dignitaries.

Last year’s parade had more than 7,500 participants, which included over to 2,500 children, special dignitaries and elected officials, over 50 pets in their finest Halloween costumes, and 25 decorated strollers.

The parade begins at Mt. Vernon Avenue, south of E. Bellefonte, and continues down to the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center play fields at Mt. Vernon and Commonwealth Avenues. Children, pets, and strollers in costumes are invited to march and show off their finest and scariest Halloween garb.

At the fields, goodie bags for children are handed out (including healthy bags that do not have candy). Refreshments such as hot dogs donated by 7-Eleven, apple cider, and cookies are provided4. There is live musical entertainment provided by Mars Rodeo. There will be Goblin Games and activities for the children.

Photos by Wayne Hulehan

Pet Costume Contest and Stroller Competition

Registration for the Pet Costume Contest and Stroller Competition will be done prior to the parade start. Stroller and pet entries must register by 1:30 p.m. at the corner of Mt. Vernon and E. Howell Avenues; look for signage. Once registered, strollers will line up on Howell to be judged prior to the parade. Pets will be judged immediately at the end of the parade route. There is no fee to register.  For complete details and categories, visit 

Pet Costume Categories: Creative, Team, How Could You Do This To Me?, and Vola Lawson Best of Show

Stroller Competition Categories: Creative, Humorous, Best Group or Family, Less is More, and Overall

Best Decorated Home and Best Decorated Business Contest

The deadline for nominations to be submitted  for Best Decorated House and Best Decorated Business is Sunday, October 20, at 12pm. To nominate a home or business, email the street addresses to by October 20 at noon; please state if it should be judged during the day or night.

Donate a Costume! Help a Kid March in Halloween Parade

The Del Ray Business Association collects and distributes Halloween costumes for children who would otherwise go without.  New or gently used costumes can be dropped off at the collection box located at the Del Ray Farmers' Market‚Äč or on the porch at 110 E. Del Ray.

Costumes are distributed the day before the parade from 2-4 p.m. at the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave. Especially needed are larger sizes.  Click here for our Boo-tique's Amazon Wish List, and have the costume shipped directly. In 2018, we gave away over 200 costumes to needy kids!

Volunteers Needed!

We can’t have a parade without a lot of volunteers. Volunteers are needed on the day before the parade and on Parade Day.  Click here for a complete list of volunteer needs, and to sign up to help make this Del Ray tradition happen.

Among the ways that you can help:

Saturday Volunteers

  • Pick up costumes from collection sites
  • Fill goody bags with candy and gifts
  • Help distribute costumes (Spanish speakers desired)

Parade Day Volunteers

  • Set up tables, grills, food, decorate field, etc.
  • Put up sponsor banners on fence and stage
  • Be a parade marshal
  • Distribute goody bags to children
  • Prepare and distribute refreshments
  • Register dogs and strollers participating in decorating contests
  • Help with clean up (take down tables, clean up field, empty trash, take down banners, etc.)
Click here to volunteer!


The Del Ray Business Association sponsors the parade with additional support and financial contributions from our local businesses. Very special thanks to Jen Walker, our primary sponsor and sponsor of Best Decorated House. Special thanks to our other sponsors Bobi Bomar, sponsor of Best Decorated Stroller and Paul Haire from Your Dog’s Best Friend for his sponsorships of the Best Pet Costume

How To Participate As A Del Ray Business

In order for this annual tradition to happen, we need the support of our businesses! There are numerous ways to be able to participate and contribute to this fun event and to bring recognition to your company or business:

1. Decorate your business and be nominated for Best Decorated Business, which is judged by elected officials. Businesses must be decorated by October 21 to be judged. To nominate a business email

2. Be a Sponsor. The DRBA depends and hopes for your financial contributions:

  • Sponsor the Stage. Maximum 6 sponsors. $1,250. Your Company Banner will be placed on the stage and you will be listed on the Sponsor Board -- ONLY THREE LEFT! 
  • Sponsor the Stroller, Pet, or House Competition. $750. Your banner/sign hung at both the registration area at the start of the parade and at the judging area at Mt. Vernon Fields. You will be listed on the Sponsor Board. House Sponsor gets name on signage that is put in front of nominated homes. -- SOLD OUT!
  • Sponsor the 2,500 Halloween Goodie Bags. Maximum 13 sponsors.  $350. Your business name (up to 34 characters and no logos) on the Goodie Bags that are distributed at the parade. Deadline is October 3.  
  • Hang Your Banner on the Fence on the Fields. $300.  All participants (over 7,500 in 2018) will see your banner hanging on the fence on the fields at the parade end. The field is where the judging and the program take place. Your name will be also listed on the Sponsor Board.
  • Donate Candy, Treats, and Giveaways for the 2,500 Goodie Bags. $150. Donate $150 worth of items or cash and your company name will be listed on Sponsor Board that is displayed next to the goodie bag distribution. Giveaways could include magnets, Halloween stickers, Halloween rings, etc.  

     Click here for complete details.  To participate, please contact Gayle Reuter (703-216-8597 or

Copyright ¬©2015 Del Ray Business Association | 2308 Mt. Vernon Avenue, #727, Alexandria, VA 22301 

This website was made possible in part by a grant from the City of Alexandria Marketing Fund.