BY KATHRYN BAUMGARTNER
The festivities began at 3 p.m. in the village’s municipal parking lot on Main Street with live music from various artists. The different groups played both original songs and covers of bands such as Fun., Coldplay, and more. There were also food and novelty vendors, a face painting booth, and a booth for 106.3 WFAF/103.9 WFAS which had a wheel that people could spin to win prizes.
The parking lot was also filled with people and pets in costume, insects seeming to be a popular choice this year. There were many butterflies, ladybugs, bees, and even a caterpillar. Children were taking advantage of the open space and the clear weather, playing football, blowing bubbles, and skateboarding through the parking lot as their parents watched on.
The actual parade began at 5:30 p.m., kicked off by mounted sheriffs and emergency vehicles from various departments, including an old-fashioned fire truck. The vehicles were decked out in Halloween decorations, such as orange and green spider webs, yellow tape with phrases like “Caution Zombies” and “Haunted Keep Out,” and colored lights. People sat atop the fire trucks, tossing candy to the crowd lining Main Street.
Nyack’s Amazing Grace Circus had a juggler and several tall puppets, held on the puppeteers’ shoulders. The marching bands from the East Ramapo and Nyack high schools were also present, Nyack High School having recently won the New York State competition under new band director Mike Smith.
Other schools were also represented in the parade, as well as the Suburbia Roller Derby, a group from Westchester who showed some of their moves off to the crowd, and the Girl Scouts.
Next up were the floats, representing a variety of groups. The award for best float went to the Nyack Homeless Project, a non-profit group that works to give back to the community. They depicted a scene from “The Wizard of Oz,” complete with a tornado full of cars and a giant pair of red shoes.
The presidential election also managed to make its presence known at the parade. Two people marched in masks, one as Barack Obama and the other as Mitt Romney. There was a group marching with cutouts of the current president and signs reading “Hope.”
Local elected officials were present at the parade, including Legislative Chairwoman Harriet Cornell, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, District Attorney Thomas Zugibe, and others.
Scott Baird, president of the Nyack Chamber of Commerce, said of the parade, “This is what makes Nyack different.”
Awards were presented for a number of categories, such as best couple, best monster, best community group, etc. Musician Frankie D offered words of encouragement to participants in the parade, saying, “If you dressed up and participated, you already won.”
Music commenced once again at the close of the award ceremony, as people danced and mingled in the parking lot.