Guest Blogger Blog - Kevin

indexHi everybody! I miss you all and I hope you are having an exciting fall. I’m posting a guest blog about one of my favorite things to do in the fall here in New York City. If you live here, you might know that every year we have a Halloween parade in the West Village. The parade has everything you would expect to see: people dressed up in spooky costumes, marching bands and floats. It also has giant puppets. This year, I volunteered to help build the puppets and I marched with the puppets in the parade. Processional and puppet artists Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelle have been designing large-scale, processional style puppets for the Village Halloween Parade since 1998. Every year they design new puppets that embody the theme for that year. The puppets are built in a barn in upstate New York. Alex and Sophia hold workshops for volunteers who travel to the barn and spend the day assembling the puppets. Many of the volunteers also march with the puppets in the parade.

The theme for the 2015 parade was “Shine a Light.” Alex and Sophia designed huge puppet creatures inspired by crystal chandeliers. Three puppeteers controlled each puppet that lit up from the inside with special LED lights.  Along with the puppets, some of us (including me) dressed up as light creatures and walked the parade route handing out tiny lights to people watching the parade. Alex and Sophia gave us special instructions – we were only supposed to hand lights to people who were actually watching and experiencing the parade, not people making videos of the parade with their phones. I had a great time walking up 6th Avenue in the village, dressed in black with a huge light-up headpiece, handing out tiny lights. The reaction from parade watchers was a lot of fun because some were thrilled to receive a tiny light and took it from me right away while others were not sure what to do!

I had such great time with Alex and Sophia on Halloween that I’m going to work with them again on November 30th as part of The 16th Annual Winter's Eve Festival at Lincoln Square. We’ll be processing with huge ice-creature puppets in front of Lincoln Center.

I hope all of you are doing something wonderful and creative this fall. Happy Holidays and I hope to see you again soon!

If you want to read more about the “Shine a Light” theme for the parade – click here: