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The Historic Origins Of Rutland's Famed Halloween Parade

People in skeleton suits on a street
River Willman, Courtesy
The famous Rutland Halloween Parade will not be held this year due to the pandemic, but it is scheduled for next year along with the unveiling of a sculpture of its founder, Tom Fagan.

Though the city of Rutland had to hold off on its annual Halloween Parade due to the pandemic, the lore lives on. Former Rutland Herald reporter Nick Marro joined VPR to talk about his former colleague and parade founder Tom Fagan.

Fagan, who passed away in 2008, was known as "Mr. Halloween."  He helmed the famous Rutland Halloween Parade beginning in 1960 and gave it its superhero theme. Often dressing as Batman, Fagan stood in as master of ceremonies and helped the event earn its uncorroborated status as the largest and longest-running parade of its kind in the nation.

Read and listen to a past Rutland Halloween Parade report from VPR's Nina Keck.

The yearly gathering of locals and visitors is known to draw in 10,000 or more participants who line the city's streets up to eight deep, to watch costumed superheroes, villains and floats.

This fall, Rutland-area businesses announced their plans to create a sculpture honoring Fagan to join other sculptures of Rutland notables in the outdoor Rutland Sculpture Trail. The statue of Fagan is due to be unveiled next fall, in time for the 2021 Rutland Halloween Parade.

Read the Rutland Herald's story on adding a sculpture of Tom Fagan to the Rutland Sculpture Trail.

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