2011 Gory Daze Parade and Dust Ball

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Schedule of Events

The Rio Blanco Social Club announces the 10th Annual Halloween Parade and Dust Ball in White River Junction Saturday, 29th October, 2011, c.e.

Pre-parade Madness starts at 5 p.m.!

  • 5 pm—Doors open at the Main Street Museum (58 Bridge Street), for cider, a Bouncy Castle, The Rachettes' Exquisite Belly Dancing, conviviality and And of course—doughnuts on strings! doughnuts on strings! doughnuts on strings!
  • Town of Hartford Parks and Rec Department "Egg Haunt" in Veterans Memorial Park, across Bridge Street from the Museum! Come and find eggs, candy and more from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Monsters! Local students from The Center for Cartoon Studies have created a special "Monster Petting Zoo". Kids of all ages can look forward to petting the "monsters", making them do tricks of skill and agility and feeding them peanuts!
  • Haunted House also from 5 to 8 see the desolate remains of the Flood Ravaged Fire Station. Join volunteers from the Junction Teen Center and their Haunted House on the first floor.
  • 7 pm—The party heats up at the Museum, where revelers will mix and mingle in their costumes to live "honkey punk" music the one and only Pariah Beat, live fire performances, fire spinning, burlesque and more belly-dancing!

All Pre-parade Madness events are FREE!


  • 8pm—The Parade takes to the streets!—lead by Lil' Orphans Brass Band, a walking, musical party winds its way through the Upper Valley's favorite ghost town, navigating the terrifying underpass and the adjacent beautiful (formerly sunken) garden and other vacant store-fronts, before snaking along South Main Street to turn around and end up at the American Legion Hall for the Meat Ball!

The Dust Ball!

  • 9 p.m. brings our Magic Eight Ball and a good many revelers to the American Legion Hall, South Main Street, White River Jct. Beginning with a set of hot jazz from the Lil' Orphans Brass Band at 9 p.m., the evenings Ball brings together: DJs, dancing, the local paparazzi, scary refreshments and cash bar, dance floor VJ, festive (and a little Satanic) decorations, and much more. Be inspired by the costumes, the old friends you'll see (but maybe not recognize) and the new folks to greet you...check out the "eye candy"!

Parade and all other festivities are free, the Ball is $10! $5 for kids! All ages, 21 with ID to drink. Cash only!

The Band

Swing and Sway to the brassy jazz beat of the Lil' Orphans Brass Band, an offshoot of the New Orleans Brass Band Project. This enlarged line-up will march and romp toward the rear of our parade, spurring us on to greater and greater acts of mystery, beauty and who-knows-what else!
Band members are:

  • Dan DeWalt, trombone
  • Tim Ellis, sousaphone
  • Julian Gerstin, bass drum
  • Ron Kelley, saxophone
  • Pete Simoneaux, snare drum
  • Bill Shontz, clarinet
  • Scott Sizer, trumpet

See some of our Publicity from Past Years

See the Article in Upper Valley Life Magazine!

Sonja Hakala did a great write-up about the Whole Big Mess. See it here!

See the 7Days Vid!


What It Is

Crowds! Sparkles! Parade! Music! Giant Puppets! And amazing costumes!
White River Junction's annual Gory Daze Halloween Parade and Costume Ball is coming up and the (officially anonymous) members of the Rio Blanco Social Club would like to extend a cordial invite to You—to Everyone, young and old alike! People ask if the parade is suitable for children, and we say, "Why Certainly!" Please bring the whole family. Altho there probably will be men wearing dresses in the parade. (But believe me, the man wearing a dress will be one of the Least Scary things you will see that night!)
This year the Big Night, will be the Saturday, Halloween night, the 29th of October!
White River Junction—one of the ten best small ghost-towns in American—will be buzzing that night, starting at 5 p.m. at the Main Street Museum, with a Monster Petting Zoo, Belly Dancing, Pariah Beat Band, a Bouncy Castle, conviviality and Madness!
Then at 8. p.m. “Vermont’s Favorite Ghost Town” trots out its finest with costumes, music and more fire and music and drumming in the streets. We usually circle around town a few times and then at 9 p.m. end up at the American Legion Hall for the Grand Ball. This years theme:

The 10th Annual Gory Daze Parade and Dust Ball!

The Museum Pre-parade is free!
The Ball is $10—($5 or kids!)

Info: For more info, and press info see:

Its all great fun, but it takes a lot of hard work (from our all-volunteer “Club”). And our talented performers, musicians and our parade permit, must be paid for. If you can support us please pledge today. We want you to be on our poster, internet and postcard advertising! (We can come around and pick up checks later. But pledge today!)

History of the Spectacle

The first year we were about 50 people. A couple years ago over 200 people showed up and allegedly someone called the police to report a “riot”! While this was a thrilling review for the organizers it was also a good lesson and now we have police escort. This is a walking parade. If you come, you will be in it. People of all ages and species participate: adults, kids, teenagers, grandparents, dogs, gorillas, drag queens, everybody.

Is it for Families, or Kids?

Answer: Its for Both!

We have a unique town here in Rio Blanco and a unique parade. Theres plenty of things for kids to enjoy, especially at the pre-parade reception at the Museum. Bouncy Castle, bobbing for Apples (or other things, just you wait and see!) and of course Doughnuts on Striiiiiinnngggs!
The parade and its revelers resemble New Orleans denizens, but they are usually clothed. Except for an occasional boy wearing gold paint. And not much else. But since its public, and in Vermont, and usually very cold that night, its pretty tame. The dance party starts at 9 p.m. and is an adult thing. 18+ to attend.

For more info please email us info@mainstreetmuseum.org
Or contact the Main Street Museum 802.356.2776

Posters and postcards will be available for distribution at Revolution, studio 270 in the Tip-Top Building, or the Main Street Museum, 58 Bridge Street.


Parking will be readily available on downtown streets, at the Courthouse, VFW/Legion Hall, Church Street and Municipal Building Lots.
There will be Absolutely NO PARKING next door! If you park to the side or rear of the Museum you risk TOWING AT OWNERS EXPENSE! by our neighbors!
Please use the front driveway of the Main Street Museum for 15 minute pickup and drop off services only. The parking lot by the Museum riverside will be reserved for people only, no cars!

Parade Details for 2011

  • Volunteers! Volunteers are needed to watch over our bouncy castle, help as staff (bouncers, clean up at the Museum and at the Tip Top Cafe), act as parade marshals, and help with a lot of other fun stuff. All helpers receive a free ticket to the Ball! let us know if you can help. 802.356.2776. info@mainstreetmuseum.org
  • Sequence of the Parade. If you'd like to know beforehand, here's the parade sequence: 1) police escort, front; 2) Parade Marshall; 3) bagpipes; 4) Celebrity Guests; 5) Lil Orphans Brass Band with help from assorted roving musicians; 6) revelers and costumed denizens of the underworld, politicians, garden friends, the good the bad and the ugly! 7) police escort, rear.
  • The Parade Route: leaves Museum at 8 pm. travels right, proceeds under the underpass, left on Main street. Wave to Revolution. Follow South Main Street and trick or treat at the Coolidge. Then right on Gates Street to Church Street. Then down North and South Main again to the Legion. Say Howdy to Fancy Felix on the way. Dance. See and Be Seen!
  • There are masks a'plenty here at the Museum and assorted costume paraphernalia. Borrow it for free!
  • Weather report for Saturday: TBA

Happy Halloween!

Special Note: unfortunately, the Museum and our patrons continue to have problems with nuisance calls to the local police and hate speech from our neighbors here on Bridge Street. A guy named "Bob" claims to have authority over parking and security in the area. (He wears a cap and is shadowed by his partner Elizabeth.) Neither of these individuals has any authority over parking, or any connection to the Main Street Museum, our friends or the sponsors of the Gory Daze Parade and Ball. The Main Street Museum has filed "Notice of No Trespassing" papers against them. If simply ignoring them doesn't work, the Museum recommends calling 911. Unfortunately, they also often call the Hartford Police and report us for imagined offenses. Be prepared for 3 or 4 uniformed officers to be present. Real Police, and not just the costumed ones. The police know that we have done nothing wrong in the past, and realize that the calls are simply further harassment. Just be prepared folks. —The Management.

See you on Halloween! May it please you, —The Rio Blanco Social Club

Our "Mothball" in 2007.

Past Halloween Publicity and Posters

Our Sponsors for 2011!

Thanks to You All!

Our Sponsors for 2011

Names of Future Balls; Vote Today!

Past Graphics

Some of our past graphics, thanks to Brandon Ellston, 2009.