9 Halloween Parades In The U.S. That Are The Ultimate Way To Celebrate The Spookiest Day Of The Year
Aside from the Halloween parties and haunted house tours, the best place to show off your costume is at one of these spooktacular Halloween parades in the U.S. It doesn't even matter if you've been working on it for months, or just threw some makeup on. Bringing your outfit into the world is so much cooler than sharing an Instagram post and calling it a day — because where's the fun in that?!
I really love the vibe that community Halloween festivities give off. Then again, maybe I'm biased, because I'm pretty obsessed with the holiday to begin with. Either way, there's so much quirkiness and creativeness around every corner. From adorable kid costumes to hilarious pun couples outfits, it's impossible to have a bad time during a Halloween parade.
It's also the perfect family-friendly alternative to the bars. Because these parades are so community oriented, it's the perfect atmosphere for the entire clan. Many of the parades on this list have been going on before you were even born, so you better believe they’ll be top-notch Halloween viewing material.
Better yet, you can take it up a notch and go from spectator to participant by joining in on the procession. And just like that, you’ll win Halloween by 10,000 percent.
1. New York City Village Halloween Parade
When: Oct. 31, 2015 at 7-11 p.m.
Where: 6th Avenue from Spring to 16th Street in New York City, New York
It goes without saying that the Big Apple is full of characters on any normal day. Bring in Halloween festivities, and you've got yourself quite the party. This year, the annual New York City Village Halloween Parade will be running on the theme "Shine the Lights."
To join the actual parade, show up at 6th Avenue and Canal Street between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Make sure you're decked out in your full costume. Otherwise, you won't be allowed to get in on the fun. Can't make it? Catch it on NY1 live starting at 8 p.m.
2. Nyack Halloween Parade
When: Oct. 24, 3-7:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Park, Piermont Avenue in Nyack, New York
New Yorkers who want a break from the city can drive 45 minutes to Rockland County for the Nyack Halloween Parade. With more than 20,000 people in attendance every year, this is a great way to experience spookiness with a small town vibe. This parade even comes with contests and cash prizes. Better bring your best costume!
3. Asbury Park Zombie Walk
When: Oct. 10, 4-8 p.m.
Where: Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey
While this isn't technically a Halloween parade, it's pretty darn close to it. I've witnessed this a few years in a row, and it's amazing. There's nothing more mesmerizing (and amusing) than witnessing clusters of zombies walking down the boardwalk. You know, just an afternoon stroll by the beach.
The best part is the trail they leave behind. I've seen fake blood smeared across the sides of buildings a good week after the event. If that doesn't say creepily awesome, I'm not sure what does.
The Asbury Park Zombie Walk starts at Convention Hall, heads down the boardwalk, and up toward Cookman Avenue. Lively souls need not apply.
4. York Halloween Parade
When: Oct. 25, 2-4 p.m.
Where: Market Street (from Richland Avenue to Broad Street) in York, Pennsylvania
Now in its 66th year, the York Halloween Parade features floats, costumes, and even local marching bands. This year's theme is "Proud Past, Strong Future," focusing on historical accomplishments of society. The parade even offers a "Playland" area featuring activities and games for children and their families.
From what I understand, Bricker's Famous French Fries will be available all along the parade route. Best parade ever? I think so.
5. Portsmouth Halloween Parade
When: Oct. 31, 7 p.m.
Where: Downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Created and coordinated entirely by the community, the Portsmouth Halloween Parade is about to kick off its 21st year. One look at the parade's website, and you can tell just how much Portsmouth loves Halloween. I'm so into this.
To be a part of the parade, meet at Pierce Island by Prescott Park. The procession travels all around downtown Portsmouth, ending at Prescott Park.
6. Highlands Louisville Halloween Parade
When: Oct. 16, 7 p.m.
Where: Baxter and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky
Get in on the early Halloween festivities at the Highlands Louisville Halloween Parade. This three-quarter-mile-long parade is a quick and easy way to snag some costume inspo before the big day. Don't forget to check out some haunted houses while you're in town, too.
7. Oklahoma City Halloween Parade & Costume Party
When: Oct. 31, 7 p.m.
Where: Automobile Alley in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Dubbed as a "celebration of the arts and creativity," the Oklahoma City Halloween Parade & Costume Party is the real deal. Before the parade, kids can take part in ghostly activities before the fun even begins. After the party, adults can drink and be merry at a costume party and Zombie Ball just for grown-ups.
And if you walk in the actual parade? You'll get free candy, too.
8. Little 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade
When: Oct. 17, noon to 7 p.m.
Where: Euclid Avenue at Highland Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia
For the ultimate Halloween throw down, visit Atlanta for the 15th Little 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade. This daylong celebration starts at noon and runs until 11 p.m. That's basically 11 hours of Halloween amazingness.
On top of it all, the festivities include two stages of live music, food vendors, and even local artisan shopping. Clearly, Atlanta doesn't play around when it comes to Halloween partying.
9. Anaheim Halloween Parade
When: Oct. 24, 6 p.m.
Where: Center Street in Anaheim, California
The Anaheim Halloween Parade, which has been going down for a whopping 91 years, is a 45-minute procession that runs a mile and a half through downtown Anaheim. With about 150,000 spectators attending each year, this legendary Halloween parade is perfect for your spooky SoCal celebrations.
Image: Adrian Cabrero/Flickr