GREENWICH VILLAGE HALLOWEEN PARADE NEEDS $50K FOR SANDY RECOVERY

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UPDATE: GREENWICH VILLAGE HALLOWEEN PARADE HAS SET UP A KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN TO HELP RAISE THE $50K NEEDED FOR THIS YEAR’S PARADE!

Source: DNAInfo New York

Organizers of the 40th annual Village Halloween parade say they must raise at least $50,000 to make up for the financial hit they took when Hurricane Sandy forced the parade to be canceled at the last minute last year — or else scale back the number of puppets and bands at this year’s festivities.

Started by Greenwich Village mask maker and puppeteer Ralph Lee in 1974, the Parade began as a walk from house to house in his neighborhood for his children and their friends. After the second year of this local promenade, Theater for the New City stepped in and produced the event on a larger scale as part of their City in the Streets program. That year the Parade went through many more streets in

Greenwich Village and attracted larger participation because of the involvement of the Theater. After the third year, the Parade formed itself into a not-for-profit organization, discontinued its association with Theater for the New City and produced the Parade on its own.

Today the Parade is the largest celebration of its kind in the world and has been picked by Festivals International as “The Best Event in the World” for October 31.

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“You can’t do an event of this scale in New York City without any money,” the parade’s artistic director Jeanne Fleming said Wednesday. “We all do this for the love of New York — now we need New York to show the love.”

Last year, the Office of Emergency Management and NYPD canceled the parade on the afternoon of October 30, just a day after Hurricane Sandy wreaked its havoc and left much of Manhattan below 14th Street in the dark.

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Without event cancellation insurance, Village Halloween Parade Inc. found itself on the hook for thousands of dollars in costs like artists’ commissions and fees for items like port-a-potties and lighting.

At the same time, many corporate sponsors that had given money to the nonprofit asked for their donations back once the parade was canceled.

“It’s been devastating,” said Fleming, a 67-year-old Dutchess County resident who has run the parade since 1985.

Organizers plan to launch a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign in September seeking at least $50,000 for the annual event that draws 2 million spectators, Fleming said. “We have a history of helping others after disasters,” she said. “Now we’re in a situation where disaster has happened to us and we need help.”

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