New York is always bustling with activity and is one of the most exciting cities in the world. There are renowned sites wherever travelers go and look, and there is never enough time to visit them all. Many tourists just come to view the astonishing landmarks, such as the impressive Empire State Building, the iconic Statue of Liberty, the wonderful Brooklyn Bridge, historic districts, the famous Central Park, and various renowned museums. Some tourists travel specifically to take in the fabulous Broadway performances, while others visit NYC specifically to shop and eat. This city is a treat for its visitors because most of the top attractions are close to each other. Halloween in New York is a very special event, and it is celebrated yearly on October 31st. One of the biggest and most beautiful events in this city that never sleeps is the annual New York Village Halloween Parade. Every year, thousands of revelers congregate in the Village to see the amazing procession of music and costumes. Here is a guide for tourists who would like to attend New York City’s iconic Halloween Parade.
A Flashback To The Halloween Parade
Ralph Lee was the initial planner of this amazing event. Prior to the parade, he was concurrently employed as an actor and a mask maker, but in the spring of 1974, when he was a professor at Bennington College, he was requested to lead and stage an outdoor campus show. A young woman who is sort of on the hunt was the subject of the event he had the bright idea to customize several spots around the Bennington College campus. Excited spectators made their way along a predetermined path to numerous places where they witnessed various scenarios with puppet figures. When Lee and his colleagues arranged a second Halloween parade after the first one, which attracted less than 200 participants, they found that the neighbors were genuinely interested. At the conclusion of the second year, he believed that the parade required to be its own entity, an organization of its own.
The Westbeth Community Room served as the new location for subsequent parades, which were at that time partially supported by the city and featured musical performances that had collaborated with Lee for a while. Puppets have been seen flying off flagpoles, in windows, and on doorsteps. The parades became bigger over the years as more people came to watch and participate in costumes, international and local media coverage increased, and Lee's designs attracted more spectators. When Fleming learned that Lee no longer wanted to lead the procession, she took charge of it, and they discussed methods to keep it continuing. She spoke with the neighborhood councils, city departments, and everyone else who was engaged in making sure the event went off without a hitch. Fleming informed us that audience numbers increased over the years from 15 to 20 thousand to 2 million people and currently range between 50 and 60 thousand participants.
Participate In The Fabulous Halloween Parade
March in the Village Halloween Parade
People can join the line on Sullivan, East Broome, and Canal streets, which are located east of Sixth Avenue. Instead of trying to locate their group in the heart of the tumultuous queue, attendees are advised to collect their friends a few streets away and later line up in the parade. Participants can arrive at the starting point at Sixth Ave early and obtain a better viewing place.
- Starting time: 7:00 PM, but it is recommended to be there utmost at 6:30.
- Duration: Around 4 hours
- Costumes: Costumes related to the theme are required.
- This year’s theme: Freedom
NYC Halloween Parade Participation Fee
Anyone may watch the New York City Village Halloween Parade for free from the sidelines or participate in costume, but people can buy VIP tickets.
- VIP entrance level I: The ticket costs $100. It gives the participants the privilege to skip the lines and avoid the long wait.
- VIP entrance level II: The ticket costs $200. It gives the participants the privilege to skip the lines, avoid the long wait, and enter VIP viewing sections close to the Telecast along the Parade route.
- Ticket for joining special sections of the parade: The ticket costs $50. Participants’ ticket entitles them to skip the queue, early admittance, dance to Freedom by Jon Batiste with the Grand Marshall section and TV coverage, as well as the ability to interact with other costume enthusiasts like them!
- Ticket for walking at the front line: The ticket costs $500. Participants can walk next to Artistic Director Jeanne Fleming and lead the parade.
Tips To Enjoy The Halloween Parade To The Maximum
Participants are advised to plan and know the routes they want to take to join the parade before they go, especially since the roads will be crowded. Moreover, it is crucial to check the theme of the year, then it is time for celebrants to express their creativity in their costumes. For participants' safety, it is recommended to go in groups, gather before arriving at the Halloween Parade, and get familiar with the outfit of their friends if it is hard to identify them, so they do not lose each other. Finally, as in all events, people should watch out for their belongings; pickpockets will take advantage.