First and foremost: the Tarrytown Halloween Parade needs participants.
Participation can come in many forms:
- you can march in costumed groups,
- drive your own VW Bug in a little fleet of VW Bugs (read more on that here), or whatever other car you want will work too,
- learn how to play an instrument and join the regionally-renowned Tarrytown Vets Drum and Bugle Corps... (they too got their own article here)...
The options are endless.
Read here on how to join the fun – and this doesn’t require a hitch and a flatbed truck, only your imagination. (And notifying the rec dept. at 631-8347 or email@example.com.)
Now, let’s get a taste of what’s in store for everyone on the sidelines or in the street for what promises to be the:
Best Halloween Parade and Block Party Ever. No pressure!
Things are skewing a bit later (and darker) this year. There are a few new fun twists for all ages, and more time to party down in the street and eat with your freaky friends and family...and weirdly dressed neighbors and strangers.
Veronica Black, proud member of this year’s Halloween Committee — “it is so exciting to be a part of it” — noted these parade editions:
The Golden Jack-o'-lantern trophy, with a glimmering pumpkin the size of a dodgeball, will be awarded to Best in Show. Winners with the best group or float will get their name on a plaque on the pedestal of this impressive trophy. Sorry you can't keep this, Tarrytown needs it back. Off-season, it will live somewhere TBD until, joked Black, “the great Pumpkin rises again" for the next parade.
The Best in Show contest is meant to become an annual tradition as more winners' names can be added each year to the base.
Another new tradition in the making: Where’s Waldo.
Look for Waldo as you watch the parade pass by. He’s in there somewhere on a float, in a car, marching. He’s only 4-feet-tall and made of cardboard, so he may be harder to spot than your average fully-fleshed person and not as nimble. Those who find him can write down his location on a piece of paper at the block party. Around 8 p.m., a name with the right answer will be picked from a cauldron to win a prize.
The night’s itinerary:
Parade participants will gather at 5 p.m. in Patriot’s Park on Saturday, Oct. 27 for the parade that begins this year at 6 p.m., following Route 9 to Main Street.
“It will start with darkness ascending,” Rec Director Joe Arduino said ominously.
Following all those marching bands in the parade, there’s the block party on Main Street at the end of the parade, with the DJ action we’ve come to know and expect.
Then, for the first time ever, there’s live music going later into the night (10:30 p.m.) from the AM Band. “Bubble gum rock and roll,” described Arduino.
“'60s, '70s, '80s," said Halloween Committee member Chris Brazil. "Songs we know every word to but will never admit we do."
The drummer is Brett Roberts, lead driver of the Tarrytown Volunteer Ambulance Corps, who always make a strong showing the parade (remember “Thriller” anyone?).
In between increments of music and DJ, there will be entertainment, street performers, “a little bit of this, a little bit of that,” Brazil said. The goal is to have people stick around.
And not leave when they get hungry.
In past years, said Brazil, the DJ ends and everyone takes off. Now, they want everyone to know there's plenty of food here. “Plan on eating on Main Street,” he said, noting that many restaurants will have outdoor dining options and specials for the night.
There will be barricades up from John and Kaldenburg Streets down to Windle Park. The Music Hall is having a show that night (Dar Williams/Loudon Wainwright III) and so cars need access at the top of Main. This might make logistics slightly more complicated, said Brazil, but it all makes for more folks around, which is a good thing.
So come one, come all, and for the love of Halloween, come in costume!
To get everyone in the mood, the village starts dressing itself early. Main Street and Broadway gets their scarecrow makeover soon, care of residents at the annual scarecrow making event. That's Saturday, Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. in Patriot's Park, coinciding with the Harvest Eco Fair in the Farmers Market.
You can meet Waldo and the Golden Jack-o'-Lantern at this month’s Third Friday festivities where there will be a Halloweeny table set up on South Washington Street.