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First Hardball Halloween Parade a hit in Palmetto

The DeSoto Queen and Princess throw beads in the Hardball Halloween Parade in Palmetto on Saturday night.TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald
The DeSoto Queen and Princess throw beads in the Hardball Halloween Parade in Palmetto on Saturday night.TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald ttompkins@bradenton.com

PALMETTO -- Who doesn't love a parade and an opportunity to collect more candy on Halloween?

Many in the dozens of families who lined Palmetto streets Saturday said they enjoyed the first Hardball Halloween Parade put on by the Palmetto-based law firm of Kallins, Little & Delgado.

"It was fun," said Emma Weaks.

The 8-year-old from Palmetto, dressed as popular Disney princess Elsa from the movie "Frozen," said the horses in the parade were her favorite part.

"I liked the little ones and the bigs ones," Emma said.

And where there is an Elsa, there is bound to be Olaf (another "Frozen" character) bouncing around. Emma's 4-year-old cousin, William Boswink, was all smiles after he collected half a bucket of candy and beads.

William also loved the horses, he said.

Morgan Woods, 16, was among the skeletons out and about. She came from Sarasota to join family members in Palmetto at the parade. She, too, liked the popular display of horses in the parade.

"I liked all the trucks and stuff," Morgan added.

The parade also featured the Desoto Historical Society, which helped organize the event. It featured floats from Kallins, Little & Delgad, USA Fence, the Manatee County Boys and Girls, 1490 WWPR AM radio station, horses from Beachhorses.com and the Desoto pirate ship.

A few families made their way to Sutton Park after the parade where a movie was shown.

In October, controversy surrounded the first-time parade when Crimestoppers canceled its annual Halloween Safe Kids Night at Manatee County Fairgrounds. Each event was initially scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. but the parade nearby would close streets near the fairgrounds and make it difficult for people to get to the CrimeStoppers event, organizers said.

Kallins, Little & Delgado was willing to change the start time and parade direction. Crimestoppers, however, ultimately canceled its annual event blaming the city of Palmetto for taking too long to resolve the issue. City officials had said they did not believe the parade was to blame.

All the pre-event fuss was forgotten by paradegoers. Erica Moore, 8, and her family were busy catching beads and candy, all smiles during the parade.

"Oh, I love it," Erica said. "I love all of it."

For her skeleton Halloween costume, Erica said she was inspired by the popular "Monster High" movies and dolls.

Her parents, Amber Stevens and Antonio Kendall Stevens Sr., said they were having fun, too.

"It was awesome," Amber Stevens said.

Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.

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