With the presidential election just one week away, it probably came to no one’s surprise that throngs of people flocked to the 43rd annual Village Halloween Parade in New York City Monday night dressed as either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. For those without political appetites, there were also Day of the Dead skeletons, countless Iron Mans, kittens and Harley Quinns, and one man dressed as a Dave Chappelle skit of a purple-clad Prince playing basketball.
As per tradition, anyone who arrived at the scene of the nation's largest Halloween parade dressed in costume was invited by parade officials onto Sixth Avenue in Manhattan's Greenwich Village to join in the festivities and march in front of sidewalks lined with thousands of onlookers. Many of those who watched or took part in the parade traveled from across the world to experience the famed New York City Halloween celebration. A number of the intricate costume wearers said they had been working on their outfits since last Halloween.
Parade organizers posted a statement on the event website explaining that this year’s parade theme, “reverie,” was synonymous with being in a dreamlike. It reads: “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 to sleepwalk.”
Moving with the current of the parade alongside marching bands and choreographed dance performances, one float carrying people dressed up in Captain America costumes orange prison suits and Sesame Street onesies blasted Queen’s 1977 hit song “We Are The Champions” through its loudspeakers. One man, sporting a luscious beard and a long black wig, said his costume was “him in college.” While he said his wig looked far more attractive than the hair he had as a youth, he said the long hair reminded him of the last time he "loved himself."
Several New Yorkers dressed to celebrate life in the city. A man dressed with a cardboard cutout of a car on his torso that read, “I was gone for two seconds” shedding a comedic light on tedious parking tickets. One group showed up dressed as the subway stations in New York, with one man dressed as the “L train” carrying a construction sign. Another man, who covered his body with hundreds of yellow metro cards, simply said, “I’m just being myself.”
“I couldn’t resist pulling that pant suit out from the back of my closet,” said Emily Gottlich, who was dressed up as Hillary Clinton for walking the parade for her third year in a row. Gottlich said this year’s costumes were far more colorful compared with the ghostly black and white ones more prevalent in previous years. “I really liked the theme this year because it allowed everyone to express themselves. I think we put a mask on everyday trying to be something we aren’t but tonight we actually got to put on the mask of who we want to be. That’s fun.”
Here are some of the best costumes from last night's parade: