NYers Slay the 2021 Village Halloween Parade’s Theme: Let’s Play! (Recap & Gallery)

New York City’s 48th Annual Village Halloween Parade returned this year after taking 2020 off due to the pandemic. It was obvious by the amount of attendees and participants that New Yorkers really did miss the city’s annual tradition.

Guided by a dual theme of “Let’s Play” and “All Together Now!” the costumes ranged from pop-influenced to political, and everything in-between. You could also see the range of efforts and craftmanship (or lack of). Some costumes had been carefully crafted over the past 2 years, while others were suspiciously Mermaid Parade-esque. There were also a few questionable groups that seemed to be really late for this year’s Pride Parade.

Theme: It’s Playtime

Play Mas! Play ball! Play the game! Make a play! It’s all there for the taking! for the Making! A game involves engagement with others–come up with a costume idea that engages the audience and your fellow marchers –so we can PLAY together once again! — halloween-nyc.com 

New Yorkers came to play! We saw characters from story books, fairytales, cartoons and movies. We witnessed a marching band of Heart Playing Cards. While the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus brought the big top to the streets by putting on a full-fledge circus experience on and around their float.

Brown-bagging marchers partied with more adult-themed groups. The KTU float was back blasting dance worthy-tunes and Webster Hall kept the party going while inviting spectators to their after-party. We even spotted Kostume Kult and other Burning Man camps and art cars.

After being cooped up last Halloween, it was evident this was the moment New Yorkers were waiting for. The attendance was post-COVID level, a drastic difference from this year’s last-minute PRIDE parade. It almost felt like our city was back to normal.

Theme: All Together Now

The Children’s Museum of the Arts to invite the children of New York to design this year’s puppets to honor whomever and whatever brings them everyday joy, even when times are tough. We are calling for drawings of people, animals, and objects at play – which official Parade artists at Processional Arts Workshop will transform into giant illuminated puppets to lead the way, as we bring life back to the streets of New York. — halloween-nyc.com 

Though it was mostly the adults who came out to play it was wonderful witnessing the Children’s Museum of the Arts vision come to life. The children we did see were either mini versions of their parents’ costume or part of a themed group of characters.

Costume Round-up

Overall, New Yorkers’ really slayed their Samhain looks this year. Recycled or not, the costumes enhanced the playful nature of the night. Who wouldn’t love watching dancing skeletons and prancing unicorns IRL?

Some of the most popular costumes for 2021 included:

  • Chucky
  • Joker
  • Maleficent
  • Calaveras/Sugar Skulls
  • COVID virus, vaccines, etc.
  • Paintings (framed walking works of art)

Check out our full gallery for the 2021 NYC Village Halloween Parade by Richard Scalzo below:

Photo Gallery by Richard Scalzo | Halloween Parade NYC 2021

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