The Traveling Locals
New York City's Village Halloween Parade
Updated: Nov 9, 2020
The annual New York City Village Halloween parade is the largest Halloween parade in the world and with intricate costumes, oversized floats and impressive attention to detail, it's a must for any Halloween fans. It's actually the only night time parade in NYC and routinely brings in enormous crowds. The parade is entirely in Greenwich Village and the route follows sixth ave between Spring street and 16th.
The krewes of coordinated costumes and floats reminds me a lot of New Orleans Mardi Gras, only with a darker, more macabre theme. Bit instead of getting wasted drunk and catching pointless plastic beads, everyone at the Village Parade is there to see the parade participants. The costumes are way over the top and usually have massive teams of tall rod puppets, stilt walkers and insane paper mache masks. No mistake, I love having a beer, but you should save that until after the parade when everyone pours into the countless bars in the village. Even with the huge crowds, I was still able to find a small restaurant to grab some dinner and drinks just a couple blocks away. And there are many a bar in the east village, from hipster mixology cocktails served with candied ants, to complete hole in the walls with 10 different layers of wall paper pealing off.
The parade is especially great if there's a bit of fall chill in the air and some fog around NYC. It makes for a perfect background to this one of kind experience. New Yorker's aren't generally known for being reserved and shy, and the annual Halloween parade absolutely fits right in among the city streets. As mentioned earlier, there are large crowds and it can be a bit pushy, but it seemed like there was plenty of sidewalk space available for the most part. I took the subway in from the upper east side and it got really packed, really fast. So be prepared for some hoards of people to flood the streets and subway platforms before and after.
If you're lucky enough to be in NYC on Halloween, this is an experience that shouldn't be missed. I found there to be a huge mix of locals and tourists, older, younger, single, families and kids. The parade usually has over 50,000 participants and could last 3-4 hours. If you get hungry, China town is just a few blocks away and late night dumplings and noodles are hard to beat. So for a show like no other, as usual, it's hard to beat New York City.
Note: As per most of 2020, Covid-19 has caused this years Annual Halloween Village Parade to be canceled. See you next year.