It was a night of frights following a day of terror.
Costumed Park Slopers summoned their holiday spirit hours after a terrorist attack killed eight people across the East River, taking their nabe’s streets to march in an annual Halloween parade that participants said was a welcome treat in the wake of the tragic assault.
“It was good, although it was a little more subdued,” said Susan Fox, who marched covered in dollar-store jewels alongside her husband, Jim van Putten. “But we had a great time, the police are always super nice, and there were so many fun costumes that people made this year.”
The dressed up denizens began their trek at 6:30 pm, walking along Seventh Avenue from 14th to Third street, where they hung a left and strode to the parade’s finish at Washington Park. Among the hundreds of spooky Slopers in attendance was a mysterious band of black-clad skaters in white masks who march every year, according to an organizer, who said their secret identities remain a constant even as their size, curiously, does not.
“I think they’ve evolved — they’re different sizes than they used to be, but it’s a great neighborhood secret,” said Park Slope Civic Council member Kim Maier.
Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) boasted another of the night’s best costumes, dressing as a “bag monster” to raise awareness for the plastic waste that plagues the city, according to Fox.
“That was amazing,” she said.
But the night, which attendees said turned out great, almost didn’t happen. After news of the deadly attack in Manhattan broke, Maier said she and other organizers met with the commanding officer of the neighborhood’s 78th Precinct to discuss whether or not to cancel the beloved parade.
Fortunately, Park Slope’s top cop assured the planners that his men in blue had a solid security plan in place, and the group choose to soldier on, Maier said.
“It’s about making a community event and trying to move ahead for the kids,” she said. “Definitely a very difficult time to have a celebratory attitude, but I think it was lovely.”