Jill Fritz: Marching through the years

Since 1978, Jill Fritz has marched in every York Halloween Parade — through low temperatures, bad weather and even a pair of pregnancies.

Presented by: SpiriTrust Lutheran
Written by: Anthony Machcinski
Jill Fritz (Photo by Caleb Robertson for Our York Media)

Jill Fritz can’t forget how cold she felt during the early years of the annual York Halloween Parade’s 3-mile stretch down Market Street.

Back then, the parade ran on Saturday nights, and the chill October evenings were all part of the tradition.

These days, the parade takes place during the afternoon, but, 40 years later, you can still find Jill marching.

“It’s just been something I’ve done all my life,” Jill says. “I don’t think I’ve ever missed one.”

Jill was a member of the band as a majorette in junior high, and eventually at York High. In 1976, two years after the Bearcat graduated, she joined up with the York High alumni band.

“At that point, I was just missing the band, and trying to be more active,” Jill says.

Jill has marched in every Halloween parade with the band since they started marching in 1978. Even bad weather, or pregnancies in 1982 and 1983, couldn’t stop her.

It’s just been something I’ve done all my life. I don’t think I’ve ever missed one.

Jill Fritz

York has always been a part of her life.

Her 89-year-old father, Roger Stabley, still works for the York Revolution in-season as a Skybox Concierge. Her two children, Ryan and Cory, grew up in York and also were members of the York High band.

Jill’s faith in the city has paid off, and she’s seen the improvements throughout downtown.

“I’ve been down here for 22 years, there’s just a different energy, a whole downtown rejuvenation taking place,” Jill says.

On October 28, Jill will be back for her 40th year in the parade, twirling her baton and marching to “We’re from York” and “Old York High.” And even though the parade route has changed from its 3-mile march and has moved to Sundays, Jill is still happy.

“It’s much nicer for us older people that they made it shorter,” Jill says with a laugh. “It’s a privilege to be a part of the band.”

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SpiriTrust Lutheran provides exceptional health, human and senior living services by supporting persons in achieving an optimal quality of life.


1050 Pennsylvania Ave. York, PA 17404

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