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Budget cuts don't dampen spirits at Halloween Parade

amny

amny

The annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade offers ordinary girls the chance to be Lady GaGa and custodians the opportunity to be rock stars.

Take Carmelo Grau, 32, a maintenance worker from Washington Heights, who posed for picture after picture at the behest of new-found fans Sunday and fielded endless compliments on his metallic marvelousness last night.

In costume as the Tin Man, Grau said “The Wizard of Oz” speaks to him because of its themes of freedom, friendship and reconciliation. For years, Grau said, “I was forbidden to celebrate Halloween because I came from a family of Christians.”

While parade organizers had initial concerns over having enough financing to pull off the event, the fanfare of the thousands who gathered Sunday night ensured its success. As of press time, police had no reports of arrests at the costume fest.

The parade is its own rollicking rally for sanity in that it offers the opportunity to make political commentary — humorously — noted Ardes Quinn, a Chelsea resident who owns Café Loup. Quinn was dressed for the 38th annual village parade as “The Death of St. Vincent’s Hospital,” a bloody ensemble that blamed greed for the death of the medical center.

Other parades are dedicated to a certain religion, ethnicity or interest group, noted Jalal Bailey, 31, who lives in the Bronx and went dressed as a “Blue Demon.”

But the Halloween march, he continued is a gloriously diverse hodgepodge of fun-loving humanity.

“It’s freedom,” said Bailey.

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