The Halloween Parade's Menagerie of Weird

It’s always awkward to ask someone if you can photograph their Halloween costume only to be told it’s not a costume. This is what happens early on at New York’s annual Village Halloween Parade. There are those in costume and then there’s an army of eccentric volunteers busily preparing elaborate puppets and skeletal giants and floating pumpkins and mechanical rabbits and just about anything else you can dredge up from your nightmares. After a while, you just stop asking. And there’s always a damn clown. Oversized fingers fiddling with one end of a string held taut by a few balloons. Just sitting there. Staring.

The parade is an army of nurses, Daft Punk helmets, zombies, Mileys, minions, Frankenstein monsters, Banes, Alices, Batmen, Daenerys, cops and witches and they all march up Sixth Avenue in a crowd that’s six deep, sometimes ten. Everyone’s on the look out for their favorite character, and when they see it they yell and scream over and over. And if they miss out, no worries because another will come by in a few minutes. After the long night is over and it’s time to go home, the fight with the crowd begins and — yes there’s a taxi freeing up just for you. And a few feet away is that damn clown. Just staring.

Photography by Joe Marquez

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