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A Halloween parade to give you the creeps

If Jack O’Lanterns, creepy costumes and a spooky atmosphere are your thing, then you should definitely consider joining the Village Halloween Parade someday. New York City’s only nocturnal parade is the largest celebration of its kind in the world – the Big Apple does not do anything by halves.

On All Hallow’s Eve, more than 50,000 participants in costumes gather and roam the streets of New York, or more specifically Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, from around 7pm to 10.30pm. Thousands of New Yorkers and visitors from all around the world march alongside dancers, artists, puppeteers and bands of various types of music in a colourful procession, attracting more than 2 million spectators every year.

One of the landmarks in New York City’s festive calendar dates back to 1973, when a Greenwich Village mask maker and puppeteer walked from house to house with his original creations to amuse his children and their friends on Halloween. Over the years, the local parade evolved into the huge event it is today.

The Village Halloween Parade is much more than just a procession of ghosts and ghouls, however; under artistic director Jeanne Fleming, artistry and creativity are writ large and each year, a different theme truly comes to life. Artists, technicians and more than 600 volunteers work at full speed from as early as summer on to create a menagerie of floats and puppets. To gain insight into the hard work that comes with preparing the Village Halloween Parade, you can also participate in free puppetry workshops.

 

| Photo: Getty Images

For the parade’s 45th iteration this year, the theme ‘I AM a Robot!’ was chosen, to mark the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and to raise questions of what it means to be human at a time when artificial intelligence plays an increasingly significant role in our daily lives. Spectators will be treated to spectacular views of floating cybernetic figures, with glowing wires attached to their human controllers representing how man and machine are becoming more and more entangled.

Only those in costume are allowed to join the line-up, so don your spookiest apparel and join in the festivities as tens of thousands gather to celebrate the Halloween spirit!