About this project
Last year, the New York City Village Halloween Parade was ready to go, with hundreds of puppets, more than fifty bands, dancers, artists, and thousands of costumed New Yorkers. Then, Superstorm Sandy came along. And for the first time in its 39 year history, the Parade was cancelled. The Village went dark and silent, the subways stopped running, and millions of New Yorkers and visitors from around the world were devastated.
Though the Village was silent, we heard from you loud and clear! We received messages from tens of thousands of you who were missing Halloween. Missing the Parade. Missing the camaraderie and the community. Missing your annual opportunity to play on a world stage in a celebration the likes of which makes the parade
Though nothing compares to the tragic loss of life and home caused by Sandy, the last minute cancellation was also a financial disaster for the Parade, putting its future in jeopardy. We fronted money for the parade that we never got the chance to make back. Months and months of work were lost.
This is a huge obstacle for our tiny not for profit arts organization, but all of you are not tiny! All of you together can make it happen. This year, we need to hear from you again. We need all of you who have ever come to watch the Parade or who danced in it. We have never asked before, but this situation is unprecedented.
Halloween is the best night for business in the Village all year. So, when you bring back the Halloween Parade, an added bonus is that you help Downtown businesses recover too!
Every year since 1973, the Village Halloween Parade has offered tens of thousands of New Yorkers and folks from around the world an opportunity to dream, a reason to create, a chance to reinvent themselves, to live out their fantasies, and a mile long stage on which to perform. Anyone in costume can join. There is nothing else like this in the country! Maybe the world!
In addition to costumed revelers --that's you!-- there are artists and performers of all kinds in the Parade: more than 35 bands, 500 puppets (animated by 1,000 volunteers), and even more dancers. Over 60,000 people participate in this Parade, and two million people line a mile long stretch of 6th Avenue to watch it.
In the last 40 years there have been tragic events in our city, our country and around the world, but even in the face of devastation and destruction, the Parade has always been there to lift up the spirits of our fellow New Yorkers and our global community.
We may be short on dollars, but we aren't short on fans. Two million of you watched the last Parade. What's more, 60,000 of you marched in it. And that was just one of 39 years of Parades! Millions of you have seen it; millions of you have marched in it!
The Village Halloween Parade is run by a tiny nonprofit with no employees. A core group of 6 independent producers work together as a team to produce the parade with the help of 15 paid day of parade marshals, 100 volunteer marshals and a thousand more volunteers who animate the giant puppets.
Much of this parade runs on creative spirit, but creative spirit doesn't always pay the bills. A free parade is expensive. The costs to plan and coordinate a parade for 60,000 participants and millions of observers are considerable. That's a lot of people to keep happy and safe. Lately, we've had to contend with more regulations that have sharply increased the cost of the event. And, now, after Sandy, we are required to buy cancellation insurance, an additional and costly financial burden.
• The deficit from Hurricane Sandy
• Security. Lots of it to make sure you and the other 2 millions people can have fun and be safe
• Insurance. Higher than ever and mandatory
• Artist & Producer fees. Even with our limited budget, we try to pay as many creative folks as possible! From producers and volunteer coordinators, to float designers and fabricators, to puppet makers and choreographers, to bands and musicians, dancers and stilt walkers, we value the creative people we work with.
• Materials. We make hundreds of new puppets, costumes and floats for the Parade theme each year. % Day of Event Equipment. Walkie talkies. Trucks & floats. Port-o-sans. Lighting. Audio.Video. % Signage. You d be lost without it!
• Staff Uniforms. (The coveted Marshal Tees) So you know who we are if you need something!
• Food for Staff, Volunteers & Security: No robots are used in the making of this parade. It takes 450 people to pull this off, and, like the army we are, we run on our stomachs!
• Basil Twist's Giant Spider to climb back up the Jefferson Market Library Tower!
We do not spend any money on advertising. The publicity you see on the parade is either unsolicited or secured via trade with media sponsors for on air or in-print announcements.
The Village Halloween Parade is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization. That means you can claim a tax deduction for part of your contribution.
Help us spread the word! At the end of the day, money isn't everything. The spirit of the Parade has kept us going for 40 years, and your spirit will keep us going another 40. Follow the Village Halloween on Facebook or Twitter for updates on the campaign and then share them on your own social media. Tell your friends. Talk about our plight on the street, in bars, cafes, offices and studios. Shout it from your rooftops. Tell a sympathetic billionaire. Be our bullhorns. You are us.
Risks and challenges
One risk is that some reward items are being created during the campaign. If any artists or vendors are unable to complete their work, which shouldn't happen, we have great backups on the sideline. It takes a lot to stop us – we will make it happen or make it right if something goes awry!
And, the Parade -- and all Halloween Night Rewards -- are on rain or shine, except if it's another year like Sandy!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We're glad you asked! You're right, when you claim a Mr. T ($60), Hero ($100) or Superhero ($150) reward, there's no place to specify sizes. But don't worry -- once the campaign is successfully completed, we will send you a survey right here on Kickstarter with questions like: "what tee-shirt size do you want."
If my reward is tied to participating IN the Parade on October 31, how will I know where to go and what to do? Do I need a ticket?
Once the campaign is successfully completed, we will email you directly with all the instructions -- including where and what time to check in on Halloween night, details about who will meet you and accompany you throughout the night, a schedule for the evening, and generally what to expect.
Some of these rewards are for specific dates before October 31. Can I chose a different date? How will I know what to do if I chose them?
Unfortunately, the workshops dates offered for Cousin It ($100) and Shutterbug ($200) are fixed. If you chose this reward, we will put you in touch with the workshop organizers directly as soon as you do.
It's Halloween! Why wouldn't you be in costume? We love costumes! But in all seriousness, the only rewards that REQUIRE that backers be in costume in the Parade are Celebrity ($200), Abracadabra ($275) and Great Leader ($750).
Oh no! We can't promise anything, but send us a message here on Kickstarter and we will see what we can do.
No worries! We are so thankful for your support. Send us a message here on Kickstarter and we will work out another way.
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