A parade and party for children that has been an annual Throggs Neck tradition for many years is a week away.
The annual Throggs Neck Halloween parade, costume contest and carnival are slated to take place on Saturday, October 27, on the weekend before Halloween, from noon to 4 p.m.
The community event, first held in the 1980s, kicks off with a parade that starts at noon on the dot, with marchers – parents and children – in place on Harding Avenue in front of St. Frances de Chantal School before a quick march through the community.
The goblins and witches will march to East Tremont Avenue, then to Sampson Avenue and over to the Cross Bronx service road and back to Throgs Neck Boulevard.
Throgs Neck Boulevard between Schurz and Harding avenues will be closed off for a party adjacent to the Throgs Neck Little League field.
There will be amusement park rides, spin art, games, face-painting courtesy of the Westchester Square Zerega Improvement Organization, music, popcorn, food, free raffles and the ever popular Build-A-Bear.
The event is hosted by all of the Throggs Neck community’s elected officials, with Assemblyman Michael Benedetto taking the lead.
Benedetto told the Bronx Times that after the parade and during the festivities, there will be a costume contest with first, second, and third places for a number of different age categories. Winners will take home cash prizes.
A committee of three independent judges will choose the best costumes, said Benedetto.
The assemblyman said that first and foremost, the event is about “one word: fun.”
“We want everyone just to have a fun day,” said Benedetto. “Kids escape and are getting dressed up into costumes and they have great imaginations.”
The parade every year is a true community effort, said Benedetto, with the assemblyman recalling that his oldest daughter once took home a prize in the costume contest years ago.
The assemblyman said the effort receives help – both financially and by manpower – from fellow elected officials Congressman Joseph Crowley, Senator Jeff Klein and Councilman Mark Gjonaj, as well as from a large cohort of volunteers that includes individuals, schools and community organizations.
Benedetto said that this year is a bit challenging because two of his fellow parade supporters who help make the parade a success didn’t win their Democratic primaries for re-election this year.
But Benedetto, an optimist by nature, believes that with the support of a raft of sponsors – including perennial ones like James McQuade of Schuyler Hill Funeral Home, Ensign Engineering and Con Edison – as well as ongoing assistance from members of the Throggs Neck Merchants Association, the Throggs Neck Home Owners Association and volunteers from Preston High School, he is confident that this year’s parade and those in the future will continue to be a big success.
He added that the event would include a performance by the Archbishop Stepinac High School marching band and the music by D.J. Ray.
He said that he is also positioning the event to be a success for the years to come in the future, beyond even his tenure as an elected official representing the community.