(Media release from the Rome City Schools):

Pikachus, princesses and pirates, rounded the corner of Elm St. and Ethel Ave. on Halloween morning to cheering and applause from families and onlookers as Elm Street Elementary held their annual Halloween Parade.

“It’s a tradition for Elm Street,” Principal Laura Walley said, “and it’s all about the experience of being in a parade. We’re all about creating memories for our students.”

For more than 30 years, Elm Street has upheld the holiday tradition that welcomes all ghouls, goblins, unicorns and mermaids.

Several Elm Street teachers dressed in costumes based on book characters, and some banded together to represent nearly all of the beloved characters from the popular animated television series “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

Spiderman, Jack Skellington and Scooby-Doo waved from the center of the parade as the procession made its way around the block.

The Elm Street sixth grade band accompanied the parade with resounding rhythm, experiencing their first marching event as they prepared to one day join the Sound of Seven Hills at Rome High School.

The Atrium Health Floyd ambulance served as the caboose for the parade, and there to greet students at the end of the procession were Atrium Health representatives complete with Halloween goodies as kids embark on All Hallows’ Eve.

“Our main goal is to reach out with injury prevention,” Trauma Program Coordinator Melissa Parris said. “Ultimately, we’re here for the kids.”

On an evening where young Wolves will hit the streets in search of candy and creepy things that go bump in the night, representatives from Atrium Heath Floyd offered glow sticks and bike safety tips to make sure children arrive home with goodies and not boo-boos.

Parris said that Atrium Health Floyd’s motivation to be present at such events stems from the injuries and incidents that they encounter in their field of work. “We want to be beneficial to the community and put safety tips out there for everybody,” she added.

In addition to the support and presence of Atrium Health Floyd, the Rome Police Department and the Berry College Lacrosse team also joined the Elm Street celebration.

“It’s all hands on deck when you’re parading young children around a neighborhood,” Walley said. “Safety is the priority, so the more adults the better.”

“The Rome Police Department always supports the parade and leads the way and helps keep us safe along the route,” Walley explained. “The Berry College Lacrosse team joined the parade to help keep the children safe along the route and to have fun and make some connections with the kids.”

As the caboose of the parade came back around, superheroes and witches ran to their loved ones and embraced in hugs, filled with lively energy and big bright smiles. Students gathered with their peers for class photos before returning to class.

Photo courtesy of Rome City Schools