Oct. 14, 2015 By Michael Florio
The popular 37th Avenue Halloween parade is returning for a 25th year.
The parade, hosted by the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, will run along 37th Ave from 89th Street to 76th Street on Halloween at noon.
More than 3,000 participants are expected to march in the parade, including children from a variety of local organizations and schools, including P.S. 69, P.S. 149, the Garden School, 82nd Street Academics and the Lexington Center for the Deaf, according to Len Maniace, president of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group.
Roughly 3,200 goodie bags will be distributed to the participating children.
“It’s always fun to see the children dressed up in super hero, princesses and action figure costumes,” Maniace said.
Maniace himself dressed up as the tin man from The Wizard of Oz last year.
“All the kids kept yelling it’s the tin man, it’s the tin man,” he said.
He also expects up to 2,000 people to gather and watch the marchers.
The group began hosting the parade as a means to provide local children with some fun. What started out small has turned into something huge.
The parade has become a holiday staple in the community, which Maniace said he never envisioned when the group started hosting it 25 years ago.
“We never thought it would become so popular,” he said. “It looks like it will go on forever now.”
He said to his knowledge it is the second largest Halloween parade in the city, next to the big event in Greenwich Village.
Councilman Daniel Dromm will be attending the parade, calling it a wonderful tradition.
“It is a joy to watch families representing the many different cultures that call this community home line up and march along 37th Avenue together each year,” he said. “This is a prime example of the true nature of Jackson Heights.”
Maniace also expects other local officials, such as State Senator Jose Peralta and Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland to attend.
Many local businesses will decorate their windows and hand out candy to the children, Maniace said.
“A big part of trick-or-treating in Jackson Heights is going to these stores,” he said. “They make it great for the children.”
Co-chairs John McCaffrey Jr., Nuala O’Doherty and Edwin O’Keefe Westley helped organize the parade.
The 25th Annual Jackson Heights HALLOWEEN PARADE
Saturday October 31st at 12PM
From 89th to 76th Streets on 37th Avenue