The annual New York City Village Halloween Parade regularly draws nearly 2 million participants, including costumed marchers, hundreds of puppeteers, over 50 diverse bands, and more. Anyone who is interested in participating in the parade can simply arrive on Halloween evening at Sixth Avenue and Canal Street from the south or the east (i.e. via Canal, East Broome, or Sullivan Streets) to join the fun. Only costumed marchers will be allowed, so be sure to dress to impress. Traveling north along the parade route is the only option—the police will stop you if you try to go south along Sixth Avenue.
A tradition since 1973 in Greenwich Village, New York's Village Halloween Parade is the largest celebration of the October holiday in the United States. The parade features puppets, marchers, and bands, as well as a limited number of floats and cars. It's the only major night parade in the U.S. and a fun and unique way to celebrate Halloween. The parade happens every year, though it was canceled in 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy.
Whether you plan to walk the route or plant yourself and take in the entire parade, be sure to prepare yourself for a night of Halloween fun.
- Dress for the weather, as the temperature in October can drop significantly once the sun goes down.
- Parade watchers start lining up two hours before the event begins. With some persistence (and walking) you should be able to find a prime viewing spot up to an hour before the parade begins.
- Be prepared. This is a popular event, it's dark outside, and it can be hard to keep your group together with such huge crowds. Pick a meeting point and time in case you get separated, especially if you are taking kids to the parade.
- This is a busy night for bars and restaurants along the parade route—if you're planning dinner after marching, consider making reservations (especially if you're in a group).
- The parade is aired live on NY1 Television, so if you're home waiting for trick-or-treaters you can still get a taste of the fun.
- The event is run by a nonprofit arts organization—show your support by making a donation, buying a Village Halloween tote bag, or receiving early VIP access to the Parade band area, among other options.
- Volunteers play many important roles in the parade and don't need any experience to get involved. Anyone can enjoy participating as a parade Marshal or a puppet animator.