Ashland's Children's Halloween Parade was lacking none of its ghastly or glamorous effects thanks to more than 5,000 costume-clad youngsters and adults who weren't scared indoors by a soggy sky on Wednesday.
"I like it better without the rain," said 10-year-old Zephyr Wiselee, adjusting the bloody meat cleaver chopped into the top of his head. "We'll still have fun."
Wiselee, who was dressed as a blood-crusted zombie, was about to start his evening's worth of trick-or-treating at the parade.
"It's just rain ... it's OK," he said.
Concerned paradegoers flooded the Ashland Chamber of Commerce with calls throughout the day Wednesday, concerned over whether the parade was still on, said Katharine Flanagan, marketing director for the chamber, which organizes the celebration.
"Despite the weather, we were pleased with the turnout. It can rain on our parade, but we wont let it bother us," she said.
"There were still a lot of smiles out there," she added, noticing the day's first glimpse of sunlight just as the parade wrapped up at about 4:30 p.m.
Samba Like It Hot led the official caravan, which was overflowing with multiple Santas, clowns, space-age princesses, dragons and a cowboy riding an inflatable bull.
"All the true believers are still here," said Brooke Daniel, escorting her lady bugs, 3-year-old Juniper Nohr, and 11-year-old Elle Daniel through the parade route.
"I love that everybody still comes out in the rain," added Audrey Larsen. "There is no stopping Ashland's Halloween spirit."
Larsen, Jeremy Brinkley, and 9-year-old Barrett Brinkley were dressed up as the three musketeers.
There also was a family of Dr. Seuss' "Things" running around the parade.
Therese Kwiatkowski's family dressed up as farm animals, a buffalo, a bright pink pig, and Elliot Kwaitkowski, 2, was a chicken.
Cameron Nunez, 7, dressed as Luke Skywalker, was getting a pumpkin painted on his face by Kathleen Taylor.
The rain didn't result in fewer face-painting's, said Taylor, dressed as a witch at her station in front of Wells Fargo Bank.
After the parade, kids packed into Tree House Books for storytime with Biscuit the Dog, and lined up for costume pictures at the Ashland Art Center, Flanagan said.
The Ashland High School and Ashland Middle School bands had to cancel because of the rain, Flanagan said, but everything else went off without a hitch.
"We do appreciate the community being respectful. Everyone was very cooperative," she said.
It was a successful parade, said Helenka Dobiecka, 10, dressed as Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter.
"Rainy ... but I got Whoppers," she said.
Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-499-1470 or email email@example.com.