It’s a spook-tacular Park Slope tradition!
Legions of pint-sized ghouls and goblins formed a ghastly procession along Seventh Avenue in Park Slope on Wednesday for the neighborhood’s 32nd-annual Halloween Parade, which over the decades has grown to become the nation’s largest family friendly monster march of its kind, according to organizers.
“It’s kids, parents, and grandparents, kids who come back as grown-ups, and folks from all over Brooklyn,” said Kim Maier, a Park Slope Civic Council trustee who organized the parade with her council colleague John Mazurek and Park Slope parental guru Susan Fox, who runs the neighborhood’s eponymous parenting group. “It’s the largest family Halloween parade in the country.”
Some 3,000 youngsters in disguise and their creepy chaperones queued up near 14th Street for the nearly mile-long trek to Third Street, where the parade bent towards its ending point near Fifth Avenue at JJ Byrne Playground, the site of an after-life party where participants grooved to spooky sounds from the all-woman Paprika drum band for the 30th year in a row, Maier said.
And the costumes, of course, did not disappoint, with one kid dressing up as the beloved people-mover The Magic School Bus; a man dressed as Russian President Vladimir Putin leading another guy dressed as President Trump on a leash; a third guy dressed as Sloper and Star Trek alum Sir Patrick Stewart — who from far away could have been mistaken for Stewart himself; and a family costumed as glowing stick figures, whose stick kids had the time of their lives at the event, their dad said.
“We had an awesome time,” said Greg Lublin, who came with wife Shanna, and kids Greyson, 4, and Quinn, 2. “It was a lot of fun.”
A band of mysterious rollers skaters dressed in all black led the parade as they have in years past and, although their identities still remain unknown after many years, the wheeled phantoms appear to be aging in reverse, according to Maier.
“I think we may be on to the next generation,” she said. “They appear to be getting shorter.”
The Park Slope march’s evolution into the borough’s de facto Halloween Parade means the neighborhood is now among Kings County’s prime trick-or-treating destinations, and small-business owners on Fifth Avenue upheld that reputation this year, distributing candy freely to the covens of sweet-toothed witches and warlocks that swarmed their doorsteps throughout the evening.
But mom-and-pop shopkeepers weren’t the only ones feeding the costumed cavalcade — many residents of the neighborhood’s stately row houses also generously opened up their stoops to the freaky flock, Maier said.
“The parade’s created a very wonderful small-town atmosphere, where people come to go trick-or-treating and neighbors are generous about handing out candy,” she said.