The Village Halloween Parade is officially back this year thanks to a major donation. The beloved event was scheduled to return after a pandemic-related hiatus, but a lack of funds threatened to cancel the 2021 parade, according to organizers. The parade set a fundraising goal of $150,000 by October 5, and with the help of 183 donors who contributed over $11,000 and Jason Feldman and his wife Missy who made up the difference, the spooky show will go on.
“When I heard on the news that the annual Village Halloween Parade was going to be canceled for lack of funds, I was devastated,” Feldman said in a statement. “I immediately felt called to save the parade, and to make a difference for our city. Honestly, as a native New Yorker I love this parade so much I don’t really think I had a choice. I know it’s not literally the shot in the arm most people are looking for, but I would suggest it’s the best medicine for our city.”
The 48th annual parade, which began as a small neighborhood gathering in 1973 and has grown to include over 50,000 participants, is set to take place on Sunday, October 31.
In September, organizers received the needed permits from the city to put on the event, but they still need help raising funds. “We have gotten this go-ahead VERY LATE and we do NOT (at the moment) have enough money to make the Parade happen, so… the Parade could STILL be CANCELLED.”
With the funding secured, the parade announced that the grand marshal will be comedian Randy Rainbow, chosen “because of his bravery in singing truth to power and making us laugh during hard times,” according to the parade’s website.
This year, both participants and spectators are encouraged to wear a mask during the parade. If you’d like to march in the parade, you must wear a costume and line up on 6th Avenue between Spring Street and Broome Street starting at 6:30 p.m. The event will kick off at 7 p.m.
The Village Halloween Parade was canceled last year because of Covid-19, marking only the second time it did not take place in its nearly 50-year history. The parade was canceled for the first time ever in 2012 because of Hurricane Sandy.
“It’s just in my bloodstream. I’m committed to this parade because I see it as a spiritual act for the soul of New York City,” Jeanne Fleming, the parade’s producer, told the New York Post. “I keep reading about Broadway returning. I’ve been thinking in my mind that the parade is live Broadway in the streets.”
Editor’s note 10/5/21: The original version of this article was published on September 10, 2021, and has since been updated.
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- A history of the Village Halloween Parade: Puppets, performers, and NYC pride
- The Urban Lens: A walk through the wild and wonderful Village Halloween Parade
Neighborhoods : Greenwich Village