Story and Photos
By Dan Guarino
The ghost of summer drifted in on Saturday, October 28, as eerily high 80s temperatures and sinister blue skies hovered over the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department’s (BCVFD) annual Dawn McIntyre Children’s Halloween Parade.
Gathering together at its 17th Road Park starting point were dinosaurs large and small, witches, astronauts and aliens, superheroes and princesses, cheerleaders and ghostly soccer teams, angels, Pokémon and Mario characters, ghouls and more. Even Mister Softee in his carboard-built blue and white truck came along.
The parade stepped off shortly after 1 p.m. led by an 100th Precinct NYPD beach vehicle, complete with skeletal officer in front. Hundreds of costumed children, parents, families, friends, neighbors and even pets followed, stretching for blocks along Cross Bay Blvd. They were flanked by BCVFD fire engines blaring Halloween music. As the colorful crowd passed by, onlookers, some in costumes of their own, greeted them along the curb. At one point some real superheroes, uniformed Broad Channel EMT vollies broke off from the crowd, urgently racing to respond to an ambulance call.
The parade concluded at the BCVFD firehouse on Noel Rd, which was blocked off for the large crowd. There were cupcakes, juice boxes and other goodies plus face painting and trunk or treat stations for the marchers filling the streets. The event also included the BCVFD’s first Fall Festival, where vendors offered vollies sweats and merchandise, other BC/Rockaway items, jewelry, candles and more.
Later on, crowds lined up ‘til late at night to experience the chills, thrills, and deep scares of the BCVFD’s very successful haunted firehouse, which ran till 11:30 p.m. from Friday, October 27 right up to Halloween night. Proceeds went to support BCVFD’s operations all year long.
The annual children’s Halloween parade is named in honor of Dawn McIntrye, who was deeply involved with the BCVFD, Broad Channel Athletic Club and the BC community.
By the end of the afternoon, the gleeful gathering of revelers, some already peeling back too hot costumes, began to disperse like ghosts in the sunshine.
But in the lingering spirit of Halloween, a good time was had by all.