Masked revelers flock to Park Slope for annual Halloween parade

Masked revelers flock to Park Slope for annual Halloween parade
Photo by Derrick Watterson

Thousands of pint-size poltergeists and costumed characters gathered in Park Slope on Thursday for Brooklyn’s largest haunted gathering — the 33rd annual Halloween Parade!

“We had a great time,” said Saquis Samuel, who teamed up with his wife to dress as characters from the X-Men franchise.

The event saw nearly 3,000 masked revelers stagger up Seventh Avenue from 14th Street to Washington Park, where the procession ended in a late night monster mash filled with treats and spooky surprises outside the historic Old Stone House.

Amid the cavalcade was Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District head Marc Caserta dressed as a jelly fish, Old Stone House director Kim Maier as the spirit of autumn, and Park Slope parenting guru Susan Fox — as a fox!

Saquis Samuel and his family travelled from Brownsville to take part in the festivities.
Photo by Derrick Watterson

Another Sloper opted for a more politically topical costume — donning a trench coat and fedora to complete his “whistleblower” outfit.

“People really loved it,” said Wally Wallach. “Even kids knew what a whistleblower was.”

Absent from the parade was noted Sloper Mayor Bill de Blasio, who cancelled his scheduled appearance at the last minute, but a mystifying group of black-clad skaters — whose identities have remained a mystery since they made their parade debut in the 1980s — didn’t fail to disappoint.

“They’re mysterious ciphers with roller skates!” said Maier, who helped organize the event. “It‘s one of those great things we always hope is going to happen.”

A ghoulish nun marches in the parade.
Photo by Derrick Watterson

Park Slope’s beloved parade tradition kicked off in sunny 1986, back when the area was celebrating a resurgence as a residential neighborhood, and the Seventh Avenue Chamber of Commerce was looking for a way to let people know about it.

“It was a time when the neighborhood was really coming back as a neighborly community,” said Kim Maier. “This was the next step of a livable community

These days the event is produced by the Park Slope Civic Council, and Maier said she and Fox are already conspiring about next year’s event — which falls on a Saturday!

“We’re talking about getting a band, because we figure people will stay out later,” said Maier.

Officers from the 78th Precinct kept the peace and handed out candy.
Photo by Derrick Watterson

Reach reporter Ben Verde at (718) 260–2525 or by e-mail at bverde@schnepsmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @verde_nyc.