The Nyack Chamber of Commerce hosted its 30th annual Halloween Parade on Saturday, October 28 in the heart of Nyack. The event once again broke records for color, creativity and the sheer size of the spectator crowd — estimated at 30,000.
“The Travel Channel currently ranks Nyack’s parade fourth in their Top 10 Best Halloween Parades nationwide,” said Scott Baird, President, Nyack Chamber. “After this year’s performance, the Nyack parade could well move up a notch just based on the ‘wow’ factor — which gets more spectacular every year.”
With over $2,000 in prize money on the table, contest entries for both floats and costumes were more inventive than ever. Sponsors 5 Wits and Autobahn Speedway awarded additional prizes — free passes for great fun at their establishments in Palisades Center, West Nyack.
Although not among the formal contest entrants or “winners” per se, a special couple made “yes” the parade’s winningest costume ever, with the young man proposing marriage to his lady on bended knee as they rounded the corner from Broadway to Main Street. The Chamber is hoping to identify the couple for a congratulatory gift this fall and engagement anniversary celebration at next year’s parade.
We’ve put together this slide show of the prize winners. Scroll down to read more about them.
1st Prize: The Nyack Art Collective took the $750 first prize for best float with “Dead Artists Make All the Money” as the theme, and many dead artists in costume accompanied the float; the prize money will be used to help the organization incorporate and live a long life in the Nyack community.
2nd Prize: Nyack Parks Conservancy won the $500 second prize with a “Rock the Parks” float manned by a huge contingent of happy, playful, park-loving kids.
3rd Prize: Blue Rock School’s beautifully crafted ”School House” — all lit up with the light of learning — took third in the float category,
Costume entrants were just as creative as the floats. Over a hundred contestants competed in seven costume categories for the $650 in total costume prizes.
1st Prize: John Mulgrew, a perennial parade favorite, landed the top costume prize with his super scary “Itchy and Scratchy” mega-costume. Complete with fully operational hatchet, sledge hammer and chain saw, Mulgrew’s entry met every one of the judges’ criteria for originality, workmanship and design. Mulgrew, a Nanuet resident, took second place in 2016, and first place in a number of prior years.
2nd Prize: Sarah Omer of Monsey took second prize with her beautifully crafted “Mary Poppins” costume – complete with detailed dress, bonnet, parasol and matching shoes.
Sponsor’s Choice Prize: Bob Ross, in “Happy Tree,” received the Sponsor’s Choice award: How cute things in nature can go seriously wrong.
Best Couple: “Jack and Sally’s Nightmare Before Christmas .” Very tall, very impressive, and from very far away. These contestants – Britt Wendl and Masato Hoshima — hale from Fargo, North Dakota.
Children’s Prizes: “White Peacock,” “Headless Bride” and “Mouse Trap” took the top three.
Best Group: The Wholeness Center’s “Haunted Spa” ― every person’s nightmare about the potential perils of a facial or massage.
Group Sponsor’s Choice: “Trashionistas,” a bevy of truly beautiful “bag ladies” dressed in outfits constructed entirely of recyclable and non-recyclable materials — newspaper, plastic bags, cardboard, foam, plastic bottles and more. The group was led by Nyack Chamber member Maria Luisa Whittingham — owner of the Maria Luisa boutiques marialuisaboutique.com at 75–77 South Broadway. “We gathered all sorts of recyclables and non-recyclables to create one-of-a-kind costumes that remind us all of the importance of preserving our resources and our planet,” said Whittingham. “We had a lot of fun transforming ‘trash’ into great costumes and a meaningful message.”
“Hands down, Nyack is the place to be for Halloween,” said Kristin Ozanian, parade director and Chamber Board member. “The parade sums up what Nyack is all about — you can’t find the creativity, energy and sheer fun anywhere else.”