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Record Crowds Celebrate Tarrytown’s Annual Halloween Parade

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October 31, 2023

By Jeff Wilson–

Unusually balmy weather on October 28 welcomed the hordes of spectators young and old who turned out for Tarrytown’s 21st annual Halloween parade, proving the old adage: If you plan and promote it, they will come. And come they did, over 15,000 attendees by the organizers’ estimates. They packed the sidewalks, straining against the barricades along the parade route from Broadway to Main Street – which would later teem with mostly adult revelers at a vibrant post-parade block party. (Tarrytown has won the award for Best Local Parade seven years straight by Westchester Magazine.)

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Sleepy Hollow’s legendary contribution: the horsemen

Deferred gratification was out the window as spectators were rewarded at the very outset of the parade with Sleepy Hollow’s native son, the Headless Horseman, pursuing two other equestrian figures: his nemesis, the hapless Ichabod Crane, and–in an altered version of The Legend—the Grim Reaper.

Northwell Phelps on parade

In close pursuit was something more positive and reality-based: a Phelps Hospital/Northwell Health caravan led by a car carrying Dr.  Emil Nigro, former medical director of Phelps’ Emergency Department, the grand marshal of the parade, who, as well as being current president of the hospital’s medical staff, served 40 years as Medical Director of the Tarrytown Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Dr. Nigro was followed by a second car for Eileen Egan, Phelps’ Executive Director, and Dr. Barry Geller, current ER Medical Director. Bringing up the rear of the Northwell contingent was a trailer-length float packed with the hospital ER’s first responders, the parade’s honorees.

The Sleepy Hollow High School Marching Band

The Sleepy Hollow High School marching band appeared next, and with an additional 12 bands coming and going in intervals, there was rarely much of a lapse in the drumbeat.

One of many elaborate floats, Captain Kidd vs the Hudson River Kraken

A convoy of hearses from different eras kept the Halloween atmosphere alive. Scores of costumed characters – ghouls, fairies, pirates, skeletons – took part. A total of 38 groups and 27 floats (including three neighborhood floats) were registered.

First Prize went to the Johnny Cash (and June Carter Cash?) doppelgängers (Courtesy of Margaret Fox Photography)

Cash prizes went to a Johnny Cash impersonator for best adult costume, the Webber Park Group for best neighborhood float and the Wildey Street Group for best float, the legendary kraken sea monster complete with flailing tentacles.

The Old Dutch Church made its presence known

The Best-in-Show prize was won by the Tarrytown Music Hall Youth Theatre and the Best Group was the Cub Scouts.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Todd, a father of three, pushing a baby carriage through the crowd.

Wildey Street’s “kraken” crew (photo courtesy of Margaret Fox Photography)

That there were no reported injuries and a general atmosphere of civil obedience was a testament to the crowd control and challenging traffic diversions performed by members of the Tarrytown Police Department, dressed in their standard blue costumes.

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