Hunts Point residents showed up and showed off at the 36th Annual Bronx Halloween Parade.
Bronx Community Board #2 hosted the return of the Bronx Halloween Parade Saturday after having to cancel last year due to COVID-19.
“It’s a rebirth of actually coming back,” said Hunts Point resident Sandra Reyes Collazo. “COVID changed our whole perspective of life, so it’s just having everyone come together.”
The New York Police Department Band led the parade from its starting point at Westchester Avenue and Simpson Street. The Fogo Azul brought up the rear as the last performance, with the parade ending at St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church on 878 Tiffany St.
“Many different families in our neighborhood were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to honor those this year in the parade,” said V Taveras, chair of Bronx Community Board #2’s Special Events Committee.
This year’s theme was Day of the Soul – Celebrating our Loved Ones.
“We wanted to use it for something positive versus using the word dead, ‘cause it’s ‘Day of the Dead’,” said Taveras. “We decided to put “Day of the Soul” just to celebrate all those that we’ve lost over the past couple months or even a year and a half.”
Multiple drill and drumline performances throughout the parade drew in the crowds and kept everyone entertained.
The event, the first major Halloween event in New York City this year, featured performances ranging from stilt walkers to drill teams, to drumline dancers.
The Essence Legacy Drill Team came all the way from Delaware to add to the fun. The team consists of flaggers, drummers, and steppers.
“We look forward to bringing new things to the parade,” said Wes-Lay Favors, the director of Essence Legacy Drill Team.
This is the second time that the team has participated in the parade. It’s a way, Favors said, for them to interact with other teams and see the creativity in the costumes of Hunts Point residents.
The Bronx Halloween Parade is all about bringing the community together. At the parade’s starting point, tables laden with coloring books, pumpkins, face painting, balloons, and candy offered a little something for everyone.
“It could help people just show positivity is still out there,” said Brandy-Courtney Williams, a community relations representative of Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus. “Keep going, have fun, come out, be safe!”
Despite the parade ending in front of St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church, the celebration continued for some time. Comedian and actress Sasha Merci hosted the showcase that followed.
“We aren’t trying to offend anybody, we’re just trying to honor those we lost,” said Merci while giving out raffle prizes.
Residents go all out with face makeup and costumes for the parade.
The event is the second largest Halloween parade in New York City and has been a Bronx staple for the past 36 years. It has many returnees, year after year.
“I love it, I come every year,” said Bronx resident Shanice Pierre. “It’s wonderful, it’s exciting, it’s refreshing, you feel like you’re alive – It gives you life!”