Parade Horrors

By Ruby Samuels


Last year, I read an article about hundreds of Muslims on a pilgrimage getting crushed to death by the sheer force of human bodies all moving into the same holy space at the same time.  I wasn’t expecting the Halloween parade in Greenwich Village to incite fears of a similar fate for myself, but stranger things have happened.  How different is Halloween on West 4th Street from Black Friday in Walmart, really?

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Image courtesy of Timeout

I fought my way through a rib crushing sea of bodies for 90 minutes before I could cross the Red Sea that was 6th Avenue, where my parade accomplice was similarly trapped on the other side.

Admittedly, as it turns out, New Yorkers are surprisingly accommodating to a fake Star Wars Rey with real resting bitch face.  Others were not so lucky.  I watched one Hagrid-sized individual shove his way through a knot of people to push a tired hot dog man and his cart backwards down a sidewalk because he “got no time” to stand aside like the rest of us for the poor man to push his cart wherever it goes at the end of a long day.  Another frustrated woman yelled to whoever would listen, “I’m a size six.  I should be able to get through this crowd.  I lost weight for this, specifically.  Not to fat shame anyone.”

Once untangled from the crowd, however, the Halloween parade is quite a spectacle.  Even the music was on point.  Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson and Sia were blasted through speakers to accompany neon, florescent-lighted costumes on two-story stilts and giant white tea kettles held high in the air for every little girl in the crowd to squeal at.  

The parade watchers themselves were a spectacle as well.  There were enough clowns that one man was there to make a documentary about them.  There were several miniature storm troopers and vampires.  I may have even spotted a Kanye and Kim.  Every diner and dollar pizza place was crammed full of cops and costumes, all exhausted and shoving food from hand to mouth without so much as glancing at each other amidst the appetite inducing craziness of the parade.  

If Halloween is your holiday and you don’t mind large crowds of people, go see this parade for yourself next year.  But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Link to the article about Hajj Stampede can be found here 

For more information about the parade, click here

Ruby Samuels is a Junior at Barnard and On-Campus editor for Barnard Bite. 

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