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Glendale’s oldest Halloween parade offers a ‘spook-tacular’ night of tradition and creativity

Nov. 1, 2023 By Anthony Medina

The annual Myrtle Avenue Halloween Day Parade brought together hundreds of costumed children for a ‘spook-tacular’ night in Glendale on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The Myrtle Avenue Halloween Parade continues to run every year thanks to the people who started and maintain the tradition, the Glendale Kiwanis Club.

In being trusted with capturing and welcoming all to the community in the spirit of Halloween for well over 50 years, this year’s parade saw many familiar and new faces, especially those members from the East Coast Car Association, who always decorate their cars in thrilling themes.

The familiar music from the film” Halloween” crept up and down the streets of Glendale before the parade began and the driver of the car responsible for the music captured the essence of the fictional character of Michael Myers.

Halloween parade participants didn’t hold back in their costume choices, and some were just happy to see others embrace their newly founded personas. Photo by Anthony Medina

The origins of this parade dates back to 1966 and is the oldest Halloween parade in New York City. The parade was founded by Jim Bonnellan and his wife Kitty, along with Artie and Ronnie LaFres from the Ford dealership in Glendale, as a deterrent for vandalism during Halloween.

As the longest-running Halloween Day Parade in the city, one man continues to be regarded as the organizer. Glendale Kiwanis member Fred Haler, co-chairman of the parade, said the idea for bringing a parade to Glendale started as a way to keep kids out of trouble.

“So the idea is to keep the kids active during Halloween night. You don’t have mischief night when you have a big event,” said Haler. “So this is the big event for certainly this part of Glendale.”

Those who donned horror-themed costumes fully embraced the opportunity to enjoy the Halloween parade. Photo by Anthony Medina

The parade began at 7 p.m. at 69th Street and Myrtle Avenue and ended at 65th Street and Myrtle Avenue.

A costume contest showcasing all the ghouls and goblins who participated in this year’s parade followed moments after the start time and prizes were distributed to the top 10 lucky winners.

The Kiwanis Club of Glendale joined by Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar and CB5 Chair Vincent Arcuri, Jr. Photo by Anthony Medina

“Our community is always buzzing with Halloween spirit, especially with events like the Kiwanis Parade in Glendale. I love how these gatherings bring us together, giving kids a fun-filled moment and keeping our traditions alive,” said Council Member Robert Holden.

The Claw was the winning costume of the costume contest at the end for the Glendale Kiwanis Halloween Parade. Photo by Anthony Medina

The top prize for the costume contest was awarded to The Claw, a DIY claw machine on wheels with two adorable babies inside surrounded by stuffed animals. The family’s costume design came equipped with lights and what seemed to be a powered joystick.

Here are some more photos from the parade and costume contest.

Winners of the costume contest all together. Photo by Anthony Medina

Parents and children carefully decorated wagons with wonderful Halloween themes that made it easy to march down the Halloween Parade. Photo by Anthony Medina

Goodie bags were distributed to children who made it to the end of the parade. Photo by Anthony Medina

Adults also took part in the fun and dressed in costumes that mostly other adults would understand. Photo by Anthony Medina

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