Little 5 Points return of Halloween Parade brings community together

Kate Durden

With Halloween approaching, frightening costumes filled the streets once again, as the Little 5 Points Halloween Parade returned on Oct. 23 after a three-year hiatus. 

Although the festival has still been occurring throughout the years, the parade has seen a two year gap due to COVID-19, as well as an interruption from rain that spoiled the plans for the parade in 2019. In 2021, Little 5 Points had a virtual parade out of precaution for COVID-19. This year’s parade was also the first to take place on a Sunday. 

“People don’t seem to be so excited about it [the parade] being on Sunday, but I think people are excited that it’s happening,” one of the main organizers of the festival, Reid Koski, said. “It seems with all sorts of festivals, people are just excited to get out and do stuff after two years of not doing stuff. I think people just want to get out and support all the businesses and just have an excuse to go party, especially before Halloween.”

Representatives for the Atlanta scholarship organization, Miss Capital City won by Tara Schiphof and Riley Wolfe Rach, and Miss Greater Atlanta won by Melanie Zhang, experienced this excitement from the crowd as they walked throughout the parade route. 

“I thought it [the parade] was amazing,” Schiphof said. “It was nice to be able to interact with the kids and see them have a great time. It was just really fun. It was a bonding experience for us as well.”

With the return of the parade that has been around since the 70’s, there were some changes. Along with moving the parade to Sunday and the change in the parade route to Moreland Avenue, the Little 5 Points Business Association is trying to focus more on local businesses’ participation. 

“We’re trying to have an emphasis more on local participants,” Koski said. “People [were] coming in from other brands more so than people who were actually involved in the community year round.”

Little 5 Points store, Psycho Sisters, is a part of the Little 5 Points Business Association and has seen the parade benefit their store and increase their profits. Leah Robertson is a sales associate at Psycho Sisters and noticed people coming to the store in preparation for the celebration. 

“We had a lot of people come in and shop for specific pieces for the parade,” Robertson said. “If someone has a section in the parade, they’ll come in and try and find clothes for it.” 

Abbadabba’s is another Little 5 Points store and is a festival sponsor for the parade. Abbadabba’s employee, Tulsi Lamvert, says just keeping the door open to the store attracts people to come in since the parade captivates a crowd. 

“I think more people will be out on the town,” Lamvert said. “Hopefully, we’ll have tons and tons of people. So I just think, the more people there are, the more that are likely to come in here.”

Robertson also notices the large crowd attracted by the parade and the promotion it brings. Psycho Sister clothing was showcased in the parade when some of Robertson’s co-workers wore the businesses’ own pieces. 

“It [the parade] brings a lot of people to the area,” Robertson said. “A big parade that just brings people together in general. We’re kind of different from other clothing stores around here. Us just being in the parade is going to promote so much business. We’re going to be having our own pieces from the store.”

Koski believes that the Little 5 Points community and businesses’ are uplifted through the festivities of the parade.  

“Of everything that happens all year round, it’s [the parade] the thing that brings the community together,” Koski said. “I hear stories of inviting people to Little 5 back when everyone was just one big happy family; today, not so much anymore, but during the festival everyone’s enjoying time with everyone else and that brings everyone together. It’s like our Black Friday. All the businesses are just making a ton of money, and everyone’s happy.”

The return of the parade brings people back together to celebrate the spooky feeling the neighborhood enjoys through the festivities. 

“Definitely one of the big things is that it brings people who wouldn’t always come but they decide to come back because they think, ‘this neighborhood is awesome, all these stores are super great,’” Koski said. “So, hopefully, there’s some long term effects that include bringing new people, especially with COVID-19 since it hasn’t happened in so long. There’s all sorts of new people who have moved to Atlanta since the last parade who might be coming to Little 5 for the first time, and that’s like falling in love.”