NYC Halloween Parade
The 2012 NYC Halloween Parade will take over New York City on its usual route in Greenwich Village. Here's the information for the route, date and time as well as the best viewing spots. Reuters

The 2012 NYC Halloween Parade will take over New York City on its usual route in Greenwich Village on Oct. 31, where costumes, frights and fun will dominate the spooktacular event of the season.

The 39th Annual Village Halloween Parade will begin on Sixth Avenue and Spring St. and end at 16th St. The official website at has a map of the official route.

People will gather on 6th Avenue South of Spring Street and North of Canal between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. The parade will go from 7:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. and will be televised live on NY1 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The NYC Halloween parade has been named “The Greatest Event on Earth” by Festivals International and listed as one of the “100 Things to do Before your Die,” as well as being the nation’s largest public Halloween celebration with over two million attendees each year.

According to Jeanne Fleming, the Director of the annual NYC Halloween Parade, the theme for 2012 is the end of the world as said by the Mayan calendar.

“This year, as 2012 ticks away the final year of the Mayan Calendar, and visions apocalyptic or euphoric fill our imaginations; we will explore the many embodiments of Time. The sound of ticking seconds reassures us of the continuity of our universe, a mechanical heartbeat, definite yet infinite. But how well do we know Time? We think of time as immutable, yet we know it to be elastic. Some moments pass with glacial slowness, as others speed past us. It bends and stretches, like Dali's drooping watches and Einstein's speeding trains. We think of time as intangible, yet we can know it only through physical forms: swinging pendulums or orbiting celestial bodies. We think of time as infinite, yet modern physicists tell the story of its beginning, and ancient calendar-makers tell of its end. With all this in mind, this year's Parade will be lead by a host of temporal entities. Clockwork White Rabbits will keep time for the procession, as winged alarm clocks sail overhead, incarnating Virgil's adage "tempus fugit". Other manifestations and analogs will abound, from cuckoos to TARDISes, culminating in a grand horlogical dance, as Time goes by.”

In addition, there will be hundreds of puppets, 53 bands, dancers and artists as well as an estimated 50,000 costumed New Yorkers and tourists.

The streets of New York and the restaurants along the parade route can become crowded during the parade, so many suggest to wear a costume and march along as part of the parade. All streets west of 6th Street are closed by Police, so it is recommended to arrive at least an hour early to secure a good spot. But be sure to steer clear of streets between Bleecker Street and 14th Street, as they are typically the most crowded.

The New York Halloween parade is a tradition that dates back to 1973 when puppeteer Ralph Lee started a parade in New York for his puppets. The event evolved into a larger spectacle in its third year before becoming a non-profit.