You wouldn't know it from the weather today, but Halloween is just around the corner, as foretold by the box of "Pumpkin Spice" accoutrements food editor Nell Casey received yesterday. And to get us psyched for the upcoming season of sweaters and spookiness, the organizers of the Village Halloween Parade have announced this year's theme—"Cabinet of Curiosities: An Imaginary Menagerie." That means animals! Scary ones!
As first reported by Bedford + Bowery, according to the parade's website, this year's festivities are inspired both by Frankenstein, which is very nearly 200 years old, and PT Barnum's American Museum, which stood at the corner of Broadway and Ann Street in lower Manhattan from 1841 until it caught fire in 1865. There, Barnum kept unusual "curiousities," like a flea circus, creepy wax figures, taxidermy animals, and a "Feejee Mermaid," which was really a mummified monkey's torso attached to a fish tail.
Now, of course, we can create real hybrid creatures using science, which the Village Halloween Parade organizers say, "promises to unleash a host of unholy hybrids into our midst." These real mashups are far cuter than the Frankensteins of our imagination, but for the purposes of All Hallow's Eve, the Parade's pulling out all the scary stops. "Official Parade Puppeteers will lead the way with a bestiary of fantastic hybrids, culled from the hallowed halls of Cryptozoology, inviting our volunteers to build and animate our imaginary menagerie in our annual puppeteraisings," the parade's website says, citing "Sasquatch footprints, blurry Loch Ness Monster photos, and Chupacabra crime scenes" as supernatural examples.
The parade takes place on Halloween night, and runs up 6th Avenue in the Village. You can sign up to volunteer here.