Hundreds of children and parents, disguised in costumes, filled the streets of downtown Glen Cove on Saturday for the fifth annual Halloween Parade.
The event was hosted by the Glen Cove Downtown Business Improvement District (BID).
The three hour parade, which included live music by the Legacy Jazz Band, stretched from School Street, passed through Glen Street and ended on Pulaski. Children of all ages hurriedly pranced through the historic Village Square, trick-or-treating as most of the local business handed out candy and sweet treats.
While many of the participating families live in and around the Glen Cove area, several admitted that they rarely venture down to the Village Square. In fact, for many families, like the Yeisers, this is the first year they have come to the parade even though they have lived in the area for many years.
This is precisely why Francine Koehler, executive director of BID, coordinates these parades yearly.
Koehler said that many people don't realize what stores are in the Village Square and what these stores have to offer: "The parade gets people to see what's here and hopefully they remember to come back," she said.
Koehler starts planning the event weeks in advance, coordinating with the school district, sending home flyers with students to promote the parade. She also works with the Police Department to ensure there is enough security at the parade and at least four to five EMS vehicles on site in case of an emergency.
Most businesses have been participating in the parade since it started in 2005.
"We do it for the kids," said Elizabeth, co-owner of Accent on the Home Furniture store on Glen Street.
Every year, manager Jen and her niece Olivia along with employees Angie and Anevay, stand outside Comfort Dental to pass out candy and toothbrushes. They look forward to the parade every year, as it gives them a chance to interact with the local kids, some of which are their clients.
Among the candy-craving kids and chaperoning parents was Assemb. Charles Lavine
"This is a great event," he said. "Glen Cove is a great community and this is the perfect venue for this event. Old, young and even kids can celebrate together showing off the true culture of Glen Cove."
Although no plans have yet been made for next year's parade, the residents are looking forward and excited to return with their kids in 2011.
"We love to come down every year, get the kids dressed up and have a good time here as the kids go door to door getting their candy," says Jane Valuez who has been bringing her four children to the parade for the past four years. "I'm planning on bringing them back every year until they have grown out of it."