MONTVILLE, NJ – If you heard the fire horn at 7 p.m. October 30, the Towaco Volunteer Fire Department wasn’t responding to a fire, it was hosting its annual parade and costume contest. The event, which has been sponsored by the station for more than 40 years, is a Montville Township favorite.

“This is our fourth year,” said Towaco mom Tina Bilenski. “My girls get so excited for this event. It’s just great!”

The children – and many parents in costume – line up at the Towaco train station and are escorted on a short parade from the Route 202 side to the station at the corner of Whitehall and Fire Station Roads. Witches, zombies, superheroes and chefs abounded.

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ShopRite of Lincoln Park donated gift cards which provided cider and donuts for the families, and then firefighters and firefighters’ wives acted as judges for the costume contest. The kids were divided into groups by age and gender, and awards were given for cutest and most original costumes. Prizes included $25 Walmart gift cards purchased by the department, and all kids got candy bags.

“This is the most people we’ve ever had!” said Renee Sorenson, Towaco Fire Department President and MC for the evening.