NYC Halloween Parade organizers say event might be canceled

Costumed participants in the Village Halloween Parade pose Costumed participants in the Village Halloween Parade pose for photographs as they make their way up Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. (Oct. 31, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

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Organizers of Greenwich Village's annual Halloween Parade are used to producing a frightening show, but this year they said they are scared that it may not see the dark of night.

The parade, which was put off in 2012 due to superstorm Sandy, is in danger of cancellation due to higher costs of insurance and debt from last year's canceled show, according to Jeanne Fleming, the parade's artistic and producing director.

A Kickstarter campaign has netted less than half of the $50,000 that would save the show, Fleming said, adding that she would like to see more financial support, since not all sponsors are locked down.

"A lot of people have taken it for granted, but that's where they're dead wrong," she said of the 40th annual parade.

As of Tuesday, 282 backers had pledged a combined $21,324 to the campaign that ends on Oct. 21. Fleming said the roadblock comes because several of the parade's private sponsors lost a lot of money or were credited after last year's cancellation. "Other groups had to make the floats themselves, for example," she said.

Fleming, who has been the director for the past 33 parades, is still negotiating with unnamed big sponsors for this year's show and is waiting to see whether the city's Department of Cultural Affairs will provide some funding. The mayor's office didn't respond to a request for comment.

Fleming said if those negotiations fail, there will be more weight on the Kickstarter campaign to make the parade a reality. She added that several Greenwich Village stores, restaurants and other venues benefit from the parade financially, since it brings in $90 million in economic activity.

Naika Cadet, assistant general manager at Abracadabra NYC costume store on West 21st Street, said she has seen a huge demand for the holiday and predicted that fans will chip in. "New Yorkers are hungry for Halloween," she said. "They really want to hit the streets."

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