New York's Village Halloween Parade is an annual holiday parade and street pageant presented on the night of every Halloween in New York City's Greenwich Village. The Village Halloween Parade, initiated in 1973 by Greenwich Village puppeteer and mask maker Ralph Lee, that lays claim to being the world's largest Halloween parade where in recent years it is reported to have 60,000 marchers and 2 million spectators.
It has been called 'New York's Carnival.' The parade is largely a spontaneous event as individual marchers can just show up in costume at the starting point without registering or paying anything. The parade's most signature features are its large puppets which are animated by hundreds of volunteers. The official parade theme each year is applied to the puppets. In addition to the puppets the website reports that more than 50 bands participates each year. In addition there are some commercial Halloween floats.
The official route on Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street is 1.4 miles (the distance from the gathering spot at Canal and Sixth to Spring adds another 0.2 miles).
The parade has been studied by leading cultural anthropologists. According to The New York Times, 'the Halloween Parade is the best entertainment the people of this City ever give the people of this City.' 'Absolutely anything goes,' says USA Today. 'Be prepared to drop your jaw.',