Pumpkin Parade Raises Funds for Grace Smith House

Lafronze: Nanette, Tricia, and Elizabeth Lafronze dressed as characters from the popular 1993 feature film Hocus Pocus to benefit a good cause.

Since its inception in 2016, the Grace Pumpkin Parade has sought to bring light to the dark issue of domestic violence. It was conceived as an annual fundraiser for Grace Smith House in Poughkeepsie, a shelter that has housed victims of domestic violence and their families since 1982. In the Halloween-themed parade, participants walk from Pulaski Park to Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie dressed in costumes to spread the message that love should not be scary. This year’s parade took place on Saturday, October 20.

Some of those participants included the Lafronze sisters, who have been involved with the shelter over the years and dressed as the three sisters from Hocus Pocus to celebrate the popular Halloween film’s 25th anniversary. “We all decided to rally together for a good cause,” said Elizabeth Lafronze. “We watched Hocus Pocus one night, and decided to go dressed as the sisters this year,” added Tricia Lafronze. Another group that gathered together for the cause was the Hudson Valley Horrors Roller Derby Team, an all-female league that competes in Hyde Park. They came dressed as characters from popular video game “Pac-Man.”

At the end of the parade, costume wearers got a chance to participate in a costume contest, judged by Poughkeepsie Mayor Robert Rolison and Poughkeepsie School District Board President Dr. Felicia Watson. Event sponsors this year included Health Quest, Central Hudson and Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union.

To learn more about Grace Smith House, visit GraceSmithHouse.org online.

Horrors: The Hudson Valley Horrors Roller Derby Team took part in the annual Grace Pumpkin Parade.