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NYC Village Halloween Parade

For people spending their Halloween in NYC, the NYC Village Halloween Parade is a famous tradition. The NYC Village Halloween Parade takes place in Greenwich Village and is over one mile long. It’s a phenomenon that has grown to attract at least two million spectators and there can be as many as 50,000 participants, whether they are costumers, dancers, artists, or even circus performers. The NYC Village Halloween Parade also incorporates floats, as well as bands and other performing acts. You can’t say you’ve spent Halloween in NYC if you haven’t been to this legendary New York parade.

History of the NYC Village Halloween Parade

This New York parade began in 1974, founded by a man named Ralph Lee. He wanted to create the feel of a theatrical production and collected over 100 masks and giant puppets. As this Halloween parade began and Lee’s family and friends walked in it, city residents began to get involved and take part in the festivities. The NYC Village Halloween Parade was so popular that it ran the next year and in each consecutive year grew larger and larger. In 1975 the Halloween parade earned a Village Voice OBIE Award. In 1977 it officially obtained not-for-profit status and gained a staff that was meant to take over the actual planning and logistics of the Halloween parade. In the following years, the Halloween parade was rerouted and became even more theatrical.

Creativity of the NYC Village Halloween Parade

Costumes are one of the biggest aspects of the Halloween parade. People spending their Halloween in NYC go all out to find the best costume to get them noticed as the parade snakes through town. The theatrical aspect of the NYC Village Halloween Parade is the biggest draw for participants and spectators alike. Each costume is more elaborate and creative than the previous one and each idea tries to be one-of-a-kind.

Each year the Halloween parade has a different theme involving puppets, also a huge draw of the NYC Village Halloween Parade. One of the most memorable events was that of the 2001 Halloween in NYC. As 9/11 had just occurred, the Halloween parade planners believed that keeping the parade normal would give the city a feeling of relief that it desperately needed. Parade planners decided on the theme Phoenix Rising that year and ran the parade as usual. The puppet makers concocted a phoenix to rise from the ashes and represent the rebirth of the city. After Hurricane Katrina, victims were welcomed into the city with open arms and the parade adorned with reminders of New Orleans.

The Halloween parade has always been a huge draw for New York City during Halloween. It’s something that everyone should experience.