The Park Slope Civic Council’s “BOO-klyn!” Annual Children’s Halloween Parade transformed Seventh Avenue into a Halloween extravaganza.
Hundreds of people took the Avenue last night, starting at 14th Street, marching down to Third Street and then ended at Fifth Avenue, in costume to celebrate the ghoulish holiday.
Floats, puppets, costumes and candy flooded the neighborhood for the procession, which has been running since 1986.
“This is something I look forward to every year,” said Johnny Freeman, who was leading a dragon puppet built by students at P.S. 107’s puppetry building after school program. His daughter, Lucy, is a 5-year-old first grader at the school who helped to build the dragon with her classmates. “It is magic, this is a little piece of Park Slope Magic.”
The parade is open to anyone who wants to participate. Slopers from every walk of life marched, even politicians.
“What a fantastic parade! We gave out more than 2,000 pieces of candy, but we could have given out ten times that amount,” said Councilman Brad Lander, who was marching with his wife and kids and was dressed as a political “flim-flam artist.”
A staple of the parade, the Annual Pirate Ship, which is built by George Shea who also runs the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island each July 4, was in its seven year. Filled with kids, the ship was complete with a sail and a captain, Shea's son Thomas.
“After the parade we will launch the Ship of the Black Spot into the Gowanus Canal and work the harbor to cover our costs,” said George Shea as he steered the annual Pirate Ship down Seventh Avenue. It weighs around three thousands pounds and is 12 feet long and six feet high.
“After we attack the Gowanus we will sail across to Manhattan and attack Occupy Wall Street by midnight,” Shea said while bearing the weight of the float. “We are a pirate ship full of kids, we will take them all by surprise!”
It wouldn’t be a Park Slope Halloween parade without neighborhood characters like Food Coop workers. A former member, Bill Lienhard, dressed up as a “zombie cart pusher.”
“I have a complex emotional relationship with the Park Slope Food Coop. It’s like the on-again-off-again relationship with a witchy girlfriend,” said Lienhard, who was wearing Coop reflective vest, worn by members while they push grocery carts home for other members. The words on the back of his vest read: Graveyard Shift. “This parade is the height of Brooklyn culture. Anyone can dress up as whatever and whoever they want. We are all famous for a night.”