COAL CITY — Each class of Coal City Elementary School transformed into a variety of characters, some scary, some silly, for the school's annual Halloween parade Wednesday afternoon.
Exiting through the school's south doors, facing 2nd Street, some students donned gruesome makeup and masks as others dressed up like princesses, comic characters and well-known musicians.
The group paraded west on 2nd Street, north on N. Mary Street, then east on 3rd Street, as adoring parents and grandparents looked on with cameras, with some of the non-school-aged siblings getting in on the fun, too.
As the children marched on, Diamond resident Angel Zickefoose kept an eye out for her little zombie, second-grader Jacob Zickefoose,
After spotting him, she prompted him to pose for a quick photo.
"Jacob, say cheese," she said.
After, as other children shuffled through, she said she enjoys being a spectator at the event, especially being able to see all the costumes.
"They are always so cute, all of them," she said.
She also said it's special because the kids grow up quickly — her eldest daughter was with her for the event.
"It brings back memories," she said of seeing her daughter grow up and wear costumes each year. "It's nice to see the little ones dressed up."
Julie Thorne, of Plainfield, Ill., was bundled up in a jacket and had her camera in hand following the parade. She was there to watch her daughter, third-grader Mackenzie Kraus.
"I loved it, I think it's good for the kids to get in the Halloween spirit," she said. "It's my favorite holiday."
She's not the only one in the family to love the day — she said her daughter also loves it and they were excited to get ready to go out and trick or treat Wednesday night.
This year, Mackenzie was dressed up as a vampire queen, complete with fangs, Thorne said.
The parade route came to an end outside the school's north side, with students gathering in classes before going inside for their parties. There, Kraus said she was enjoying the parade, despite the windy weather.
"I like it," she said. "I like seeing all other other kids' costumes."
While being a vampire queen wasn't her first choice — the store she went to didn't have her first choice of a werewolf — she said she's still excited for Halloween fun.
She was decisive in her favorite part of the holiday.
"I like getting the candy," she said.