This is Halloween in York, PA

Empty chairs on the streets of York, Pennsylvania, awaiting the town's annual Halloween Parade

Empty chairs on the streets of York, Pennsylvania.

YORK, PA 12:30 p.m.- As Trevor at the Yorktowne Hotel’s reception desk told us, York is practically a ghost town on a Sunday—everyone’s in Church. Today, however, is different: the ghosts have chairs. Eerily empty plastic chairs and picnic blankets litter York’s streets.

Early this morning, residents ventured into town to claim a spot on East Market Street to watch the annual York Halloween Parade go by, then headed off to church. In about an hour and a half, they’ll come back for Halloween fun.

But the parade, which typically attracts 30,000 people, isn’t just a town celebration of spooky ghouls and glowing jack-o-lanterns. For the past few years, Pastor Jim Grove of Heritage Baptist Church and his followers have disrupted the parade to preach and protest against abortion. Abortion has been a divisive issue in this election, since the next president will likely appoint a new Supreme Court Justice, who could theoretically help overturn Roe v. Wade, so it’s likely that this year’s parade will take on a whole new political significance.

We’ll have more updates later in the day.

– BY MATHEW KATZ

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