Goblins, ghouls, and ghastly zombies were as abundant as ever at this year’s Park Slope Civic Council Children’s Halloween Parade, with a rather large turnout of costumed marchers and viewers for a Monday night.
Halloween got off to brisk start on Seventh and Fifth Avenues, with a seemingly never-ending swarm of imaginatively attired children, eagerly holding up their bags to retailers handing out an abundance of sweets and treats. Walking along the sidewalk was an obstacle course of visual delights. Royalty and robots, animals and anime, pirates and prisoners, and even an inflated Sumo wrestler strolled the streets of the Slope in the afternoon and into the evening.
The parade began rolling down Seventh Avenue at 14th Street around 6:30, led by two carefully driven ambulances. The vehicles were loaded with a cornucopia of candies, which the emergency technicians and other volunteers like Matt Pintchik handed out by the bagful. They were followed by the Civic Council trustees carrying our organization’s banner, and an energetic group of visiting and local elected officials, including City Councilmembers Brad Lander and Christine Quinn; State Assemblymembers Jim Brennan and Joan Millman; and City Taxi and Limousine Commission David Yassky, who came dressed as — what else? — a taxi.
Brooklyn Paper editor Gersh Kuntzman, the event’s emcee, traded his usual bridal-gown attire in favor of a fluorescent-green bike-lane costume, demonstrating his ability to stay on top of (or inside) current events. The boat float, carrying a group of kids, managed to make all the turns, and banner-waving dancers whirled. Huge and beautifully made puppets, including a pinstriped Wall Street banker, swirled past well-lit storefronts, making for a very festive atmosphere.
Parade marchers moved with upbeat music of Hearts of Steel and Paprika along Seventh Avenue, then turned at Third Street to head into Washington Park. A folk-rock band was already playing behind the Old Stone House, and the bands were able to find room to keep the party going around the playing field, thanks to organizational forethought of Old Stone House Executive Director Kim Maier. The Civic Council is grateful to Kim, who coordinated this year’s parade, and to the volunteers who helped pull it together.
We also want to thank the many supporters of this year’s “BOOklyn”-themed celebration: Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Lois Jackson Pediatric Dentist, the Old Stone House, the Park Slope Chamber of Commerce, the Park Slope Day Camp, the Park Slope Farmer’s Market, Park Slope Parents, Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, and the Puppeteers’ Cooperative.
The crowds wandered home well fortified with a good supply of sugar, lots of photos, and some great ideas for next year’s costumes.
— Gilly Youner
from the November 2011 Civic News