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Halloween Festival, Trunk-or-Treat celebration brings hundreds to Middle Village

Oct. 31, 2023 By Anthony Medina

Council Member Robert Holden, in partnership with NYC Parks, hosted the annual Halloween festival, Trunk-or-Treat and costume parade at Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village, on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Kids and parents first gathered at Juniper Valley Park on 74th Street to begin the costume parade filled with both spooky and timely costumed trick-or-treaters. Holden, along with essential members of his staff, led the way on that Saturday morning up to 80th Street, where a line of decorated cars in the spirit of Halloween waited to hand out candy.

Juniper Valley Park was transformed into an all-out Halloween extravaganza, with revelers dressed as various Marvel and DC characters, children show characters and more iconic pop culture characters.

The Halloween Costume Parade marched down to 80th Street where the festival and a line of decorated cars waited to hand out candy to the children. Photo by Anthony Medina

“​​This is my favorite holiday, Halloween,” said Alicia Vaichunas, Holden’s deputy chief of staff. “For the kids to be able to get out and have fun, that’s all that matters to me. You know, this is what this is. With the pandemic kids don’t know how to socialize. This brings them together, they get to see each other outside of school.”

Vaichunas helped to bring together businesses and volunteers to participate in the Halloween-themed event, along with the help of fellow staff members.

This year’s event marked the first time attending for Alessandro, dressed as Ghost Face from Scream, and his mother Aira Alcantara. Photo by Anthony Medina

Bringing a trunk-or-treat event to the Middle Village area and making it available to nearby residents allows for a safer alternative to traditional trick-or-treating, according to Vaichunas. A total of 31 cars came out to be part of the community event.

A total of 31 cars volunteered to be part of this year’s trunk-or-treat event, which has grown in numbers every year. The East Coast Car Association continues to participate in these events with some of the more eye-catching cars for both adults and children alike. Photo by Anthony Medina

After stopping by the decorated cars and receiving their candy, children ventured back into the nearby portion park area to enjoy bounce houses, arts and crafts activities, photo opportunities and even pumpkin picking. The line for the cotton candy and popcorn was by far the largest throughout the day.

Here are a few highlights from the Halloween event:

The dark lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader, from the movie franchise “Star Wars,” joins in the fun alongside members of the 501st Legion, a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization that participates in community and charity events. Photo by Anthony Medina

Members of the East Coast Car Association pull out all the stops at the Juniper Valley Park Halloween festival. Photo by Anthony Medina

First-time attendees Kylee and Kaleb, with Dad Ken Mohan. Photo by Anthony Medina

Volunteers at the Trunk or Treat tried to keep up with the volume of children at this years event, but most of them ended up running out of candy. Every year, the demand continues to grow. Photo by Anthony Medina

Bounce houses, arts and crafts activities, photo opportunities, and even pumpkin picking was made available to the Halloween festival attendees. Photo by Anthony Medina

Bounce houses were a hit with lines almost as long as the pop corn and cotton candy lines. Photo by Anthony Medina

Stephan Guelly, dad of Maeve, places his daughter next to their loyal companion dog for a quick photo. Maeve quickly runs back to Dad when it’s done. Photo by Anthony Medina

Buttons was fully embracing the Halloween theme with a pumpkin costume and a little excitement from all the festivities. Photo by Anthony Medina

John and Bridget-Marie Basile, with August, participated in this year’s Trunk or Treat for the first time, passing out as much candy as possible and decorating their truck with all sorts of pumpkins and a skeleton crew. Photo by Anthony Medina

Ken (Joker) Iyona (Catwoman) Ocean (Batman) Skye (Robin) dressed up in an all-DC Comics-inspired theme this year. Photo by Anthony Medina

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