Four-year-old Frankie Jones wore a recognizable blue gingham dress and carried a little stuffed dog in a basket, complete with sparkling ruby slippers — she was dressed as Dorothy from the classic film “The Wizard of Oz.” Jones chose her entire family’s costume for the 29th annual Children’s Halloween Parade in Washington Square Park, co-hosted by NYU and Manhattan Community Board 2.
“We flew all the way in just for this,” joked her grandparents, who were dressed as the Scarecrow and the Tin Man and came from Chicago to visit the family.
Jones’s mother, Julie Scelzo, was dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West. This is their second year marching in the Children’s Halloween Parade, which Scelzo likes because of its early start time and its relatively short route. She said it’s more manageable for young children than the better-known Village Halloween Parade, which runs down Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street.
Princesses, witches, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Minions also made appearances at the parade on Thursday. The parade started at 3:30 p.m. under the Washington Square Arch, ran west along the park from Fifth Avenue, south down Washington Square West and then east to LaGuardia Place. It ended on LaGuardia between Washington Square South and West Third Street, where activities, games and rides awaited the marchers.
The Grand Marshalls, selected for their service to the Greenwich Village community, were President Emerita of the Washington Square Association Anne Maries Sumner and Community Coordinator for Manhattan Community Board 2 Florence Arenas.
NYU’s dance team also marched in the parade. Dance Captain and Steinhardt junior Riley Smith said the team participates every year.
“We march because we love dancing for the NYU community and having fun with the kids,” Smith said.
Many families were decked out in full costume as they walked the route and enjoyed the post-parade activities.
The Cougill family dressed up as astronauts, inspired by their recent trip to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
“It’s significant because the first person who will walk on Mars is his age right now,” said Chris Cougill, referring to his infant son Marcus.
Jenni, Steve and Monroe Guynn marched in the parade as the famed residents of the Hundred Acre Wood — Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and Piglet. Jenni saw the costume idea on Pinterest and was reminded of reading Winnie the Pooh stories when she was young.
“And we hope we have a future Winnie the Pooh fan here!” her husband Steve said, referring to their son Monroe, who has not yet celebrated his first birthday.
The events on LaGuardia Place wrapped up at 6 p.m. The Village Halloween Parade began at 7 p.m.
Email Julia Baxley at [email protected].