The Village Halloween Parade may not be as completely outrageous as it once was, but this annual holiday extravaganza is quintessential Greenwich Village. Though many parade attendees are there to show off their costumes and check out those of others, there’s a large number of guests who revel in the nostalgia of a New York tradition that’s marched downtown since 1973. But there’s a lot more history to the parade than most people may know. For instance, it didn’t always go up 6th Avenue, and there’s an entire art form behind those supersized puppets.
Greenwich Village history
If you’ve ever walked by the busy intersection of 7th Avenue South and Christopher Street, you’ve likely seen people snapping photos of the iconic corner-facing Village Cigars, but what you probably didn’t realize is that they were standing on top of New York City’s smallest piece of private land. The Hess Triangle sits in the sidewalk at the southwest corner of this Greenwich Village crossing, a small concrete slab with an embedded mosaic that reads “Property of the Hess Estate Which Has Never Been Dedicated For Public Purposes,” and today marks the 95th anniversary of its installation.