NYC Halloween Parade 2011: Route, Best Viewing Spots and More

 @ibtimes
on October 31 2011 11:34 AM

Revelers
Revelers march along the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade route in New York City (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

The 2011 Village Halloween Parade will take over New York City's Greenwich Village on Oct. 31 for a wild night of costumed fun.

Over 50,000 costumed participants will join together with giant puppets, dancers, and more than 50 bands. The event was recently added to the 100 Things to do Before You Die list and is one of the biggest public celebrations in the United States.  

Wall St. zombies, corporate vampires, and working class superheroes are also joining in on the celebrations as part of the Occupy movement's Occupy Halloween. Artists have been working away in a secret location in DUMBO, Brooklyn on puppets and costumes in order to join the parade.

The parade route will start at Sixth Avenue and Spring St. and end at 16th St.

Village
Village Halloween Parade Route (halloween-nyc.com)

The Halloween parade lasts from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Restaurants and bars along the route are expected to be packed, so groups of visitors may want to make reservations to avoid a long wait.

Those watching live should show up at least an hour early to get a good spot along the route. The streets between Bleecker and 14th are often the most crowded, so those who can't show up a few hours early should try to grab a spot at the start or end of the route. The official Village Halloween Parade Web site recommends taking the subway and public transportation to the event. Visit the MTA events page to find subway stops along the route.

Anyone in costume is welcome to join the parade, so throw together a last-minute costume and line up on Sixth Ave. south of Spring Street and north of Canal from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

This year's theme is The i of the Beholder. Eyeballs will be projected onto a giant installation leading the parade.  

For those in New York who want a less chaotic view of the parade, it will be broadcast live by WPIX 11 from 7-10 p.m. and NY 1 from 8-9:30 p.m.

This New York tradition began in 1973 when puppeteer Ralph Lee paraded his creation around his neighborhood for children and friends. Theater for New York City took over in the third year and produced the event on a larger scale and expanded into more Greenwich streets. A year later, the parade became a non-profit and grew each year with more expansive media coverage. Now in its 39th year, what was once a neighborhood event draws crowds of over 2 million participants and spectators.

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