After a three-year hiatus, the Tarrytown Halloween Parade’s planning committee announced their plans to make this October’s celebration the biggest one yet.
The Tarrytown Halloween Parade has become a major attraction since its small-scale debut in 2002. Now, approaching their 20th anniversary on October 29, the parade has grown exponentially, drawing in Halloween-lovers from all over Westchester County.
“[There are] anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 people on Main Street. It’s true, that’s not an exaggeration,” said Joe Arduino, this year’s Grand Marshal.
From the very first parade, Arduino knew the village wanted a celebration. “Watching the faces of the people when the parade was scaled down back then… [I knew] this thing is gonna get better and these people want to see this,” said Arduino.
Since then, the parade has been fine-tuned. Specifically, the route has been reversed, going from Patriot’s Park to Main Street, a merchant committee has been formed and more entertainment has been added to the fun.
Due to the committee’s efforts, the Tarrytown Halloween Parade has been voted the “Best of Westchester” for six consecutive years.
Each year, the parade begins at 5:30 p.m. with the Headless Horseman, followed by walking groups, an array of floats, stilt performers, marching bands, magicians, and other entertainers. After the parade is over, there is a block party on Main Street that goes until about 10:30 p.m., featuring a band, a DJ, and dancers.
“If you love Halloween, this is the place to be…. the atmosphere on Main Street after the parade with the block party is amazing. If you are there, and you just see the crowds of people and the excitement and all the costumes…. It’s great,” shared JoAnne Murray, the current Co-Chair of the planning committee.
In addition to the show, the strip itself becomes very lively; Along the street, families and community members dressed in costume pack-in to view the parade.
The Main Street merchants also set up tables that spill into the sidewalks, creating a highly sought-after spectator section. “You can’t find a restaurant with an empty seat,” shared Arduino. Thankfully, food trucks will be situated in the parking lot off South Washington Street and Main Street to help hungry parade-goers avoid a long wait.
With anticipation growing and two years of lost parading to make up for, “we are really excited to make this the biggest, best parade [yet],” shared Murray.
For this year’s organizers, that means the addition of pre-parade entertainment, featuring a performance from an acapella group on Main Street and live music from a steel band on Broadway. The committee is also pushing for more floats than ever before.
To bolster community involvement, the organizers have introduced a new award — the best neighborhood float. “We would like to see the neighborhoods kind of compete against each other and build a float and participate in the parade,” said Murray.
In order for the committee to deliver on their plans, community support and sponsorship dollars are needed. “The more money we raise, the more bands we can have participating and the more prizes we can give out,” stated Murray.
To kick-off the fundraising season, a community-welcome event will take place in September at the Set Back Inn, a restaurant on Main Street. By purchasing a ticket for food and drinks, attendees will be the first to contribute to the parade fund while generating local excitement.
As for additional support, Phelps Hospital and Sun River Health have already been established as the parade’s presenting sponsors. For information on becoming a sponsor, click here.
While the committee is on track planning wise, the rest is up to the community to support, show-up and spread the word.
“We haven’t had the parade for three years and people are going to turn out for it. We’re going to have the best parade ever!” said Murray.
All photos supplied by the Tarrytown Halloween Parade planning committee.