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Countdown begins for the Village Halloween Parade

halloween parade

halloween parade Credit: The 2011 Village Halloween Parade. This year's is in jeopardy of returning.

Get your "binders full of women" or botched Jesus fresco costumes ready - the 38th annual Village Halloween Parade is around the corner.

The theme this year is "Tick! Tock!" in homage to the final year of the Mayan calendar.

"This year, as 2012 ticks away - the final year of the Mayan Calendar - and visions apocalyptic or euphoric fill our imaginations, we will explore the many embodiments of time," said Jeanne Fleming, director of the NYC Halloween Parade.
Hundreds of puppets, 53 live bands and parade-leaders dressed in clock-themed costumes are big draws this year.

The parade, awarded the title of "The Greatest Event on Earth" for Oct. 31 by Festivals International, draws more than 2 million bystanders and more than 20,000 marchers annually. It is called the nation's largest public Halloween celebration.

Anyone in costume is welcome to participate, and need only to meet on Sixth Avenue between Spring and Canal streets beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Spectators should line up on Sixth Avenue between Spring and 16th streets from 7-10:30 p.m. or catch the event on TV on NY1 from 8-9:30 p.m.


Scary Events

12th Annual Halloween Monster Ball
More than 2,000 ghouls, vampires, playmates and Lady Gagas will take over this 20,000-square-foot venue Friday, decked with 3 bars and private VIP rooms (reservation only). Best costume gets a $5,000 prize. (Friday, 10 p.m. $25, Best Buy Theater, 1515 Broadway at W. 44th St., 212-930-1950)

Whisper NYC X-Rated Halloween Party
With three rooms of music, two DJs, an open bar for the ladies until 11 p.m. and drinks on the house for the first 300 people, this party sure won't disappoint. Plus: $5,000 in prize giveaways, including best X-rated costume. (Friday, 10 p.m., Ladies $15; Gents $25, Crimson Nightclub, 915 Broadway, 347-592-0300)

The Official Second Annual Haunted Mansion Party
Bowlmor Lanes trades in its pins for a sexy night of sin. Hosted by former Playboy playmates, this six-room bash stretches across two floors of DJ performances and ghoulish deco, including one hour of complimentary vodka cocktails and cash and open bars. Top costumes awarded. (Saturday, 9 p.m., $20, Bowlmor Lanes Times Square, 222 W. 44th St., 212-680-0012)

Webster Hell
The NYC Halloween Parade fun ends here at this four-floor spot, but party through to midnight, when all hell breaks loose as the host hunts down and sacrifices an "innocent virgin" to usher in the world-famous costume contest. Best costume takes home $5,000. (Wednesday, 8 p.m., $40. Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., 212-353-1600)

The 2012 Monster Mash Dance
Crawl to the underworld at Brooklyn's Bell House for a monstrous dance party/costume ball, featuring Party Like It's 1999's DJ Steve Reynolds and live acts including The Live Engagements. Costumes strongly encouraged. (Friday, 8:30 p.m., the Bell House, 149 Seventh St., Gowanus, 718-643-6510)

Dream After Dark
Revel in Halloween phantasm at this swanky hot spot, featuring live DJ performances and an on-site photographer. Includes complimentary one-hour vodka open bar from 9-10 p.m. (Saturday, 9 p.m. $130, Dream Downtown, 355 W. 16th St., 212-229-2559)

Haunted High Line Halloween
The High Line celebrates the creatures of the night with spooky scavenger hunts, face painting, pumpkin decorating and a dress-up photo booth. (Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., FREE, The High Line at West 13th and West 17th sts., 212-206-9922)

Night of the Living Barcrawlers
Dress up as your fave living dead and join the trek through Tudor city with the NYC Official Halloween Bar Crawl. Twelve bars, $3 beers and $5 mixed drinks and shots - you don't want to miss out. Costume mandatory. (Saturday, noon, $15,

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