Greenwich Village Halloween Parade

Boo! It’s the annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. (Getty Images)

It’s October in NYC, and that can only mean one thing: It’s time for the legendary Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. This event is as classic as Greenwich Village itself, with elaborately costumed revelers ranging from local kids decked out as superheroes to hard-partying adults in more… adult getups. Anything goes, as long as it’s fun and fabulous. But is it happening this year?

Is the Village Halloween Parade Happening in 2020?

Sadly, no. Like so many other things this year, the 2020 parade, which would have been the 47th annual event, has been canceled due to COVID-19. But the traditional giant spider will still appear on Jefferson Market Library’s tower on Halloween night, and event organizers promise a COVID-safe surprise, too. Check the official website for hints as the 31st gets closer.

Even without the beloved parade this year, there are still plenty of ways to safely celebrate in NYC. Here are a few spooky events that are still on, and pandemic-safe.

  • The Tompkins Square Park dog run’s popular dog-costume parade is virtual this year. The free event will take place on October 24 at noon, and anyone can log on and join in the furry fun.
  • Are you brave enough to roam the 200-year-old catacombs of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral on Mulberry Street — by candlelight? Book a 90-minute tour here. Tours are available every day except Sunday and are running at half-capacity for safety.
  • If you like ghosts, you’ll also want to check out a candlelight ghost tour at the nearby Merchant’s House Museum. Learn a little something about the city’s history — and find out why Time Out called this landmarked 1832 home the “#1 most haunted place in NYC.”
  • For more family-friendly Halloween fun, head to the Queens County Farm Museum. Kids of all ages can enjoy a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, hayrides, and on Halloween day, a “trick-or-treat with the farm animals” event that sounds too cute to miss!

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When Is the Village Halloween Parade?

On Halloween, of course! The 2019 parade, which is the 46th annual event, will take place Thursday, October 31, starting at 7 p.m. (Keep in mind that the ramping up starts much earlier.) The parade itself will end at around 11 p.m., but expect after-party festivities to continue long into the night.

What Route Does the Village Halloween Parade Take?

The parade route makes its way up Sixth Avenue, starting at Spring Street and ending at 16th Street. Participants start lining up beforehand as far south as Canal Street.

Which Streets Will Be Closed for the Village Halloween Parade?

Plenty. Sixth Avenue buses will be rerouted beginning at 6 p.m., and expect many of the side streets along the path to be closed, blocked off, or just too crowded to traverse. According to the Village Alliance, the following street closures are official but subject to change:

  • 6th Avenue between Spring Street and Canal Street
  • Dominick Street between Varick Street and 6th Avenue
  • Sullivan Street between Broome Street and Spring Street
  • Broome Street between Sullivan Street and Varick Street
  • Spring Street between Sullivan Street and Varick Street
  • 16th Street between 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue
  • 17th Street between 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue
  • 18th Street between 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue
  • 10th Street between 6th Avenue and Greenwich Avenue
  • Van Dam Street between Varick Street and 6th Avenue

Check the NYPD 6th Precinct’s Twitter feed for the most updated info on street closures, but if you’re trying to get around downtown, especially in SoHo, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, or the Flatiron area, it’s best to leave the car at home and take the subway.

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Who Can March in the Village Halloween Parade?

Everyone! Part of the fun is that this is an all-ages, super-inclusive, open-to-the-public event: Families with children and full-grown risqué revelers are equally welcome, all you need to do to join the fun is wear a costume. Anyone in costume may march by turning up at the staging area at Sixth and Canal — organizers recommend arriving between 6:30 and 9 p.m., or you might miss it.

Is There a Theme for the Village Halloween Parade?

But of course: The theme this year is “Wild Thing,” so you can expect things to get even wilder than usual. Tickets to march in a special Wild Things section of the parade, which requires an on-theme costume, can be purchased for $25 and include a designated early-admission entry point with no lines.

What if I Just Want to Watch the Village Halloween Parade on TV?

If you’re a Spectrum cable subscriber, no problem. For those who want to see the fun but avoid the crowds, NY1 will be covering the parade (and the partying) live from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. You can also livestream the action here.

[This post has been updated and republished.]

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