NYC’s Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is canceled due to COVID-19 concerns


New York City’s beloved Greenwich Village Halloween Parade has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns — but disappointed fans should still expect a surprise “trick” as a consolation gift that night, its long-time director told The Post on Wednesday.

“Billy Porter was going to be the grand marshall, and the theme was going to be ‘Big Love,’” said parade director Gene Flemming.

“It was going to be a big embrace and a pushing out of love right before the election.”

The tough decision to cancel what would have been the 47th running of the massive parade — billed as the biggest public participatory event in the country — was made by its board in recent weeks; an official press release announcing the bad news is going out Monday, she said.

The afterparty, originally scheduled for the now-shuttered Webster Hall, is also kaput, she said.

The decision was made even harder by the timing.

“It not only is a Saturday night — it’s a full moon, a blue moon,” Flemming said.

“And it’s a few days before the election. And usually on a Saturday night there will be 80,000 people marching. It happens every seven years on a Saturday night.

“So it’s a devastating blow to the energy of the people. It’s not political in any way — it’s about the creativity of New Yorkers.”

It was a huge blow for Greenwich Village businesses, too, she noted.

“It’s the biggest business day of the year,” there, she said. “The parade is like Christmas for the Village.”

Still, a surprise for the night is being planned, Flemming promised.

She’s not giving out any details — except to promise that the surprise won’t happen online, and for two reasons.

First of all, the parade — run by a not-for-profit arts organization — couldn’t afford an online extravaganza, Flemming said.

“We just couldn’t do it online — it’s way too expensive,” she said.

And second, people are still craving real-life arts, she said.

“If I see another video of a person dancing alone in their kitchen I’m going to stab myself or I’m going to cry,” she joked.

“It’s going to be COVID safe, and big, but not gathering a crowd,” she said of the parade organizers’ Halloween suprise.

“Spiritually, people need it. People are so hungry for the live experience,” said Flemming, who would have been directing her 40th parade this year.

“I know how much the city needs the parade right now. Also, it’s trick or treat, right? So we’re going to do a trick.”

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