Coney Island set to host its first Halloween parade
Mermaids, step aside. This isn’t your parade.Costume-clad children and their parents will be hitting Coney Island on Saturday as the seaside neighborhood hosts its first ever Halloween parade. The parade, which coincides with frightening festivities at nearby Luna Park, will lead participants down the streets of Surf Avenue from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The parade is the latest evidence of efforts to make Coney Island attractive beyond the summer, said Chuck Reichenthal, the district manager for Community Board 13 in Coney Island. “[The parade] is an indication that Coney Island is a year-round area where people can come to and have jobs,” he said. Councilman Domenic Recchia raised funds for the parade, and several community members are chipping in. “It raises community spirits in an area that never had a parade at this time,” said Dennis Vourderis, the owner of Dino’s Wonder Wheel, who’s offering two-for-one rides that night. The parade will start at MCU Park just off West 19th Street and end on West 10th Street at the entrance to Luna Park, said Elizabeth Schmookler, assistant to Recchia. Luna Park is also staying open through Halloween--the first time for the former Astroland amusement area--and the heightened holiday spirit is having ripple effects on the community.
“Nights of Horror” at Luna Park will be running until 10 p.m. on Oct. 31, said Valerio Ferrari, CEO of Zamperla USA, the park’s operator. It will feature attractions such as dolled-up rides and a maze of actors that jump out of the shadows to spook parkgoers.The weekly “Creepshow at the Freakshow” is now “mobbed with people,” said Dick Zigun, the artistic director of Coney Island USA and unofficial mayor of the neighborhood. “This isn’t the Coney Island I know.”