Record-breaking crowds kick off Halloween festivities
PHOTOS BY ELISE PASSAVANT
NYACK ― The Nyack Chamber of Commerce hosted its 29th annual Halloween Parade on Saturday, October 29 in the heart of Nyack. The event, organized by the Chamber and sponsored by leading local merchants, once again broke records for color, creativity and the sheer size of the spectator crowd — estimated at over 20,000.
Guinness, Oak Beverages, and 5 Wits/West Nyack provided generous support as parade sponsors.
Four of Rockland County’s top bands set the beat, including the Nyack, Nanuet, East Ramapo and Clarkstown school marching bands, with additional rhythm supplied by the Nyack Drum Circle. Live music before and after the parade was offered up by Moshi Moshi band, Dave Reiss, Jeff Rubin, and Frankie D and The Boyz.
Additional parade highlights included performers from the Amazing Grace Circus!, the Suburbia Roller Derby of Westchester, Hudson Valley Harley Riders, Rockland Boulders, an array of classic cars, festooned fire trucks from the local departments — and of course, the scariest and wackiest costumes this side of Manhattan.
With over $2,000 in prize money on the table, contest entries for both floats and costumes were more inventive than ever. (See pages and 2 and 3 for links to more details and photos of the winners.)
The Nyack Boat Club took the $750 first prize for best float with their dynamic “regatta” entry — eight small sailboats rounding a racing buoy, ably manned by local kids and led by captain P. Jon Marsh.
Michael Altman and team’s “Wonka Express” took the $500 second prize with a fully hand-crafted float honoring Gene Wilder and capturing several scenes from the Chocolate Factory story, including a floating Charlie and Grandpa, the boat they rode in, and the Wonka gate — all adorned with oompa loompas and other characters from the classic film.
Under director Kim Cross’ leadership, the Nyack Center won the $250 third prize for a framed, “still life” recreation of Edward Hopper’s iconic painting “Nighthawks.” Hopper, whose Nyack home on North Broadway now welcomes the public for exhibitions and events, is an artist of worldwide renown; Nighthawks, portraying a late-night diner and its denizens, is Hopper’s most famous work and one of the most recognizable paintings in American art.
The costume entrants were just as creative as the floats. Nearly 150 contestants competed in seven costume categories for the $650 in total costume prizes.
Marisol Diaz, with her beautifully constructed, three-dimensional “Witch Emerging From Pop-up Spell Book” costume, won first prize. The costume and mini-float met every one of the judges’ criteria for originality, workmanship and beauty/design. Read about the other winners in the chart.
Press Release submitted by Nyack Chamber