Tag Archives: Village Halloween Parade

New York City’s 45th Annual Village Halloween Parade Dazzles with “I AM a Robot” Theme

The 45th annual, iconic New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of costumed participants around the theme, “I AM a Robot!” © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin

Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

 

The 45th annual, iconic New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of costumed participants around the theme, “I AM a Robot!”

“With artificial intelligences learning, adapting, interpreting and reacting as humans do, the times we live in can be overwhelming,” said  Jeanne Fleming, Artistic/Producing Director of New York’s Village Halloween Parade. “This traditional and beloved event aspires to bring folks into their creative imagination—celebrating that quality that differentiates us from robots—and by extension make the world a better place. We as New Yorkers and those visiting the Big Apple can come together, affirm our identity, block out the distractions, focus on joy and inhabit the streets of New York LIVE.”

“This traditional and beloved event aspires to bring folks into their creative imagination—celebrating that quality that differentiates us from robots—and by extension make the world a better place,” said Jeanne Fleming, Artistic/Producing Director of the Village Halloween Parade © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

“The 2018 Village Halloween Parade celebrates what makes us human by exploring how we remake ourselves. For our part, we will deploy a floating phalanx of cybernetic figures, each tethered by glowing wires to its human controller to evoke the increasingly complex strands of identity that entangle man with machine. We invite all of our Halloween makers and marchers to join our positronic collective, expressing your inner cyborgs for an evening of robotic revelry as we employ our most uniquely human qualities–dreaming, fantasizing, creating–to do our best robot impersonations.”

The theme is timely, considering 2018 is also the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s publication of “Frankenstein”.

Grand Marshal Machine Dazzle led the VIP Robot Section.

Grand Marshal Machine Dazzle led the VIP Robot Section of the 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Village Halloween Parade is:

The nation’s largest public Halloween celebration

Named as The Greatest Event on Earth by Festivals International for October 31

Attended by over 2 million people, seen by over 1 million on TV.

The nation’s only major night Parade.

Listed as one of the 100 Things to do Before You Die.

Picked by Events International as The Greatest Event on Earth on October 31, and ranked 3rd by Citysearch as the best event in New York City.

Ranked by Biz Bash as one of the top 10 events in NYC.

Recipient of the Municipal Arts Society of New York’s Award for making a major contribution to the cultural life of New York City.

Recipient of a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in recognition of Longtime Artistic Achievement.

Recipient of the Mayor’s Tourism Grant in recognition of the Parade’s major impact on the economic life of New York City and grants from the Manhattan Borough President’s Tourism Initiative.

The 45th annual, iconic New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of costumed participants around the theme, “I AM a Robot!” © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Started by Greenwich Village mask maker and puppeteer in 1974, the Parade began as a walk from house to house in his neighborhood for his children and their friends.

After the second year of this local promenade, Theater for the New City stepped in and produced the event on a larger scale as part of their City in the Streets program. That year the Parade went through many more streets in Greenwich Village and attracted larger participation because of the involvement of the Theater.

After the third year, the Parade formed itself into a not-for-profit organization, discontinued its association with Theater for the New City and produced the Parade on its own.

The Village Halloween Parade has been a significant factor in the revitalization of the city and its spirit.

It also affords an opportunity for political expression.

One of the more political demonstrations during the 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
One of the more political demonstrations during the 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

For more information on the Parade, visit https://www.halloween-nyc.com/.

Here are more highlights:

The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual, iconic New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of costumed participants around the theme, “I AM a Robot!” © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The Village Halloween Parade is New York City’s answer to New Orleans’ Carnival © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The Village Halloween Parade is a family affair © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade brought out thousands of participants © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
One of the more political demonstrations during the 45th annual New York City Village Halloween Parade © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Many marchers used the Village Halloween Parade for political expression © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The Notorious RBG made an appearance at the 45th Annual Village Halloween Parade in New York City © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The New York City Village Halloween Parade is an opportunity for artistic expression © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Making a political point to #Vote at the New York City Village Halloween Parade © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

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© 2018 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com,  www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin , and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

44th Annual Village Halloween Parade: ‘Cabinet of Curiosities: An Imaginary Menagerie’ Goes on in Act of Defiance by New Yorkers

44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 goes on without a hitch, drawing hundreds of thousands of marchers and watchers © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Village Halloween Parade, normally an expression of exuberant creativity, this year had an added dimension of courage and defiance. The 44th annual parade went on, on schedule despite a terror attack that took place mere hours before and less than a mile from where tens of thousands of marchers and parade goers were gathering.

In what is New York City’s version of Carnival, the mile-long route along Sixth Avenue was transformed into a bestiary of fantastic hybrids, culled from the hallowed halls of Cryptozoology, fitting in with this year’s theme, “Cabinet of Curiosities: An Imaginary Menagerie”.

The theme was inspired by the likes of PT Barnum’s carnival-esque museum which featured “The Fiji Mermaid,” created with the head of a monkey on a taxidermied fish, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – the real and imagined curiosities, made all the more plausible by leading edge technology like CRISPR gene-splicing technology promises to unleash “a host of unholy hybrids into our midst,” said Jeanne Fleming, long-time
Artistic and Producing Director of the Village Halloween Parade.

“Halloween, of course, revels in hybrids, mash-ups and the frisson of crossed identities. So, as we approach Frankenstein’s bicentennial, we are building our own Cabinet of Wonders, the Parade itself!”

Many of the marchers, though, abandoned the theme in favor of subtle (and not subtle) protest, another element of the traditionally irreverent display, with lots of pot-shots at Donald Trump, his administration, and his policies.

Despite the tragic event earlier in the day when eight people were killed and 11 injured when a lone-wolf, self-proclaimed terrorist careened at high speed in a pickup truck one mile down the Hudson River Conservancy bikeway on the Westside Highway, the irreverent, devil-may-care attitude that is hallmark of the Village Parade was still paramount, even with the legions of police with assault weapons – they blended right in.

Political issues come to fore at 2017 Village Halloween Parade, NYCJust a few hours after a terror attack in Lower Manhattan, Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio join hundreds of thousands of marchers and onlookers at the Village Halloween Parade: “An attack won’t stop New Yorkers from being New Yorkers,” Cuomo declared. © 2017 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This year’s parade was also distinguished by two of the marchers: Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill DiBlasio, who joined the parade to show solidarity and hammer home the message: Go on with your lives.

The terrorist, Cuomo said, “did not stop New Yorkers from being New Yorkers.” (See also: Village Halloween Parade Goes on Despite Act of Terror, With a Few Messages for Trump)

One of the parade regulars put it more directly, as he embraced the parade’s artistic director Jeanne Fleming, “This is a giant F-U to the terrorists.”

A regular of the Village Halloween Parade with the Parade’s long-time Artistic and Producing Director Jeanne Fleming. The 44th annual parade going on just hours after a horrific terror attack just a mile away, he said, “is a giant F-U to the terrorists.” © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Nothing could stifle was has been appropriately hailed as the “Greatest Event on Earth” by Festival International for October 31st and a top event in NYC by Events International, Citysearch and Biz Bash, the Village Halloween Parade is still the nation’s largest public Halloween celebration, with thousands of costumed marchers, hundreds of Halloween characters, giant masks and puppets, dozens of marching bands playing music from around the world stilt walkers, and street performers that turn the avenue into a mile-long stage.

Village Halloween Parade grand marshal Angelica Vox rides on a float designed by Alexei Kazantsev © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

The NYC Village Halloween Parade, which has always encouraged young and upcoming artists, this year selected as grand marshal an up-and-comer, Angelica Vox, who rode up the avenue on a float designed by Alexei Kazantsev, its first ever done in a New Orleans style.

Here are some of the highlights:

44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, New York City, 2017 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

See also:

Village Halloween Parade Goes on Despite Act of Terror, With a Few Messages for Trump

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© 2017 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com,  www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin , and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

 

New York City’s 43rd Annual Village Halloween Parade Inspires Reverie

New York City’s 43rd Annual Village Halloween Parade, the largest in the world, was themed “Reverie” © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
New York City’s 43rd Annual Village Halloween Parade, the largest in the world, was themed “Reverie” © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

The 43rd Annual Village Halloween Parade, the largest Halloween event in the world, got underway with extraordinary precision, as all the skeletons, ghouls and monsters – some 50,000 in all – got into order for the march up New York’s 6th Avenue to the rhythm of a host of bands.

New York City’s 43rd Annual Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
New York City’s 43rd Annual Village Halloween Parade is living art © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The theme this year invited participants to “Sink into Reverie —that liminal space in which one creates.”

Skeletons on parade in New York City © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Skeletons on parade in New York City © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

“One thinks of Halloween as a chance to fantasize, but more than anything Halloween lets us realize, allowing us to play ourselves, leaving the remainder of the year for sleepwalking…. In these moments of reverie, our eyes are fresh, a child’s eyes. Our thoughts unfettered by habit, ideas and inspirations swirl in. So this year we celebrate Reverie, inviting one and all to recreate their waking dreams.”

Fantastical figures delight parade watchers on 6th Avenue. Tens of thousands turned out to watch the 43rd Annual Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Fantastical figures delight parade watchers on 6th Avenue. Tens of thousands turned out to watch the 43rd Annual Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Indeed, this is one day a year when New Yorkers, en masse, release their inner exhibitionist, their inner Action Hero. It’s Body English, when your entire being is a placard to transmit your message. For some, it is a way of releasing inner rage, anxiety, and confront demons. For others, it is a way to convey spiritual blessings, cheer.

Skeletons join the 43rd annual Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Skeletons join the 43rd annual Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

This year had its Willy Wonkas, the Egyptian Pharoahs (one carried a “10 Commandments for the 21st Century that included “gender equality” and “no more wars”), Action Heroes and Cartoon characters, spirits from myth and folklore, and a good smattering of political characters and commentary, with candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (more mocking him than her), Anonymous, and against the NRA.

More than 50,000 join in the Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
More than 50,000 join in the Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Tens of thousands of people lined the route, which extended a mile from Spring Street up to 16th Street, delighting all as the bigger-than-life skeleton puppets poked into the crowd and stilt walkers and costumed characters engaged.

Gay Lesbian Marching Band join the Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Gay Lesbian Marching Band join the Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Creativity is on full view, a mischievous spirit in the air – this is New York City’s Carnival and Mummers wrapped into one.

Fantastical figures delight Village Halloween Parade watchers © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Fantastical figures delight Village Halloween Parade watchers © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

It is amazingly artful, marvelous to behold – indeed, producer Jeanne Fleming, who took over the planning for the parade after its 8th year when the crowd reached 100,000, saw the Village Halloween Parade as an art installation.

More than 50,000 join in the Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
More than 50,000 join in the Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

And the scenics! with the lights of the Freedom Tower downtown, the church at Greenwich with its giant spider crawling down the side and the tower lighted, and the Empire State, lit in crackling light show for the occasion uptown, and the buildings lining 6th Avenue like canyon walls – creating a fantastical atmosphere in which the walking creatures and monsters feel most at home.

Parade producer Jeanne Fleming has made the Village Halloween Parade into an art installation that inspires a sense of community © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Parade producer Jeanne Fleming has made the Village Halloween Parade into an art installation that inspires a sense of community © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

“New York’s Village Halloween Parade is committed to the cultural and imaginative life of New York City and to the advancement of large-scale participatory events in the belief that such events, when artistically inspired, can play a major role in the resurrection and rejuvenation of the City’s spirit, economy and the life of its people,” is the mission statement. “Fleeting as it may seem, the Annual Village Halloween Parade provides a subconsciously experienced time structure that lends a sense of durability, continuity and community to New York City life.”

The Village Halloween Parade is a rhythmic musical extravaganza © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The Village Halloween Parade is a rhythmic musical extravaganza © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Indeed, it is a collective giggle, a communal hug against the forces beyond control, and while you are in the spirit of it, you forget everything beyond.

Ghostly presence in the Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Ghostly presence in the Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Walking around Manhattan, with the oddest sights (half the time, you don’t know if people are wearing costumes), just adds to the special thrill of Halloween in New York City.

More than 50,000 join in the Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
More than 50,000 join in the Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

From humble beginnings in 1974 when Greenwich Village mask maker and puppeteer Ralph Lee started a walk from house to house for his children and friends, the Village Halloween Parade, now headed by Artist and Producer Jeanne Fleming, has become an iconic event of New York City, with some 60,000 participants and tens of thousands of onlookers.

New York City’s Annual Village Halloween Parade is the largest nighttime Halloween event in the world © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
New York City’s Annual Village Halloween Parade is the largest nighttime Halloween event in the world © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Village Halloween Parade, the only major night parade in the country, is the largest public Halloween celebration in the world. It has been named as “The Greatest Event on Earth” for October 31 by Festivals International, and has been listed as one of the “100 Things to Do Before You Die.”

Three guys who know something about the afterlife. The Village Halloween Parade has been listed as one of the "100 Things to Do Before You Die." © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Three guys who know something about the afterlife. The Village Halloween Parade has been listed as one of the “100 Things to Do Before You Die.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The ghouls and ghosts in the parade certainly would agree.

A wink and a nod from some of the fantastical characters in the Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
A wink and a nod from some of the fantastical characters in the Village Halloween Parade © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

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© 2016 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures