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Ragamuffin Parade a rousing ride for Ridge rugrats - Brooklyn Paper

Ragamuffin Parade a rousing ride for Ridge rugrats

Local heroes: Costumed 6-year-olds Gabriel Leon and Lucas Aja-Sigmun and 4-year-olds Liam Aja and Jesse Aja-Sigmon, all of Bay Ridge, are ready to fight crime at the Ragamuffin Parade on Sept. 29.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Bay Ridge kids defied gray skies and came out in the thousands dressed as butterflies, bees, lions, and more for a beloved neighborhood tradition.

Pre-Halloween costumed kids stepped off for the 46th annual Ragamuffin Parade on Saturday, and marched down Third Avenue from 76th to 92nd streets.

Parade organizer and spokesman Ted General said he was impressed with both the number of families that came out for the event and with the originality of the children’s outfits — many of which were homemade.

“I’m simply amazed at how well-attended it was,” General said, estimating that some 2,500 kids were part of the cavalcade, and adding that organizers nearly ran out of prizes to give all of them. “There were quite a few great costumes.”

General noted that Visitation Academy — whose headmistress Arlene Figaro led the fanfare alongside parade committee “Man of the Year,” businessman John Abi-Habib — had one of the largest delegations of students, though he added several other schools had strong showings, too.

“We had a very large turn-out, and it was a great day for the kids,” General said.

The tradition has come a long way since the late Reverend James McKenna suggested Bay Ridge kids dress up in their parents’ old clothes and circle the block of Our Lady of Angels Church at the corner of 73rd Street and Fourth Avenue.

“It’s grown leaps and bounds,” said General, noting that the parade has now become a full-fledged costume contest with a much longer route.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at wbredderman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/WillBredderman

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