By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on October 31, 2009 11:30 AM
You either love it or you hate it, but it’s probably safe to say that Halloween in New York is not like Halloween anywhere else. Today’s the big day, and with the plethora of catalogues that start arriving in July, pop-up Halloween stores, and events around the city, Halloween has reached the status of a seriously major occurrence. (Many of us grew up in an era where our moms just threw together a few sheets to make us into ghosts, and that was it.) And with Halloween comes the biggest Halloween event of all—New York City’s Village Halloween parade.(It's included in the book "100 Things to Do Before You Die." This year marks the event’s 36th anniversary, with the theme “Terra Incognita”; it celebrates the ancient mariners exploring undiscovered waters. (Interpret as you wish.) The parade, which wends its way up Sixth Avenue, starts south of Spring Street and north of Canal Street. Revelers can gather between 6:30 and 8:30 pm; the parade officially kicks off at 7:00 PM. The spectacle offers one of the more over-the-top, exhibitionist Halloween events anywhere in the country—all in the confines of an organized event. Along with the marchers, musical acts, circus performers and puppeteers--one of the parade’s highlights—join the throngs. Parade-ers have to be in costume to join, but spectators--sometimes more than 2 million of them--are welcome. Only costumed participants are allowed in the parade itself. Abandon normal clothing, all ye who enter there. Not brave (or foolish) enough to participate or watch it in person? Never mind--it’s being broadcast on NY1 from 8-9:30 pm tonight.