Over 40 years after its advent, the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade attracts more than 60,000 costumed participants and roughly two million spectators. While we are eager to see this year’s parade, in the meantime we’re showcasing Gregoire Alessandrini‘s photographs of the after-Parade street party in 1993.
The parade began as a walk, initiated by Greenwich Village mask maker and puppeteer Ralph Lee in 1974 wherein his children and their friends would walk from house to house in the neighborhood. After the second year of the walk, Theater for the New City stepped in and produced the event on a larger scale. After the third year, the parade formed a not-for-profit organization and continued to grow annually, thus becoming the massive, internationally recognized event that it is today.
From ‘conventional’ costumes picked up at Halloween shops and eccentric hand-made outfits, to straight-out outrageous and scandalous attire that makes jaws drop, the Halloween parade is an exhibition of eccentricity and individual creativity—a revelry where anything goes!
Ralph Lee stepped down as the director of the parade in 1985 and Jeanne Fleming, who had been working on the parade for three years already, took over as director—a role which she still holds to this day. Upon stepping down, Lee stated, “The parade has always been a celebration of the individual imagination in all its infinite variety. It continues to provide a framework for this expression and invites the participation of everyone.”
As a young film student and writer, Gregoire Alessandrini extensively photographed New York City in the 1990s. As a long-time partner of Untapped Cities, we have featured many of his photographs including those of Times Square, Celebrities, 1990s street art murals, Coney Island, iconic diners of the 1990s, and the Meatpacking District in our Vintage Photo column. His website contains a plethora of pictures of New York from a previous era.
Today we feature his pictures from the 1993 Greenwich Village Halloween street party:
Next, check out how the puppets are made in the annual Village Halloween Parade!