NYC Village Halloween Parade

New York’s 46th; My 1st Encounter With the Annual Halloween Parade

Thursday, October 31 was not marked as Halloween but rather as the Parade on my calendar after hearing about the iconic organization held conveniently (from campus) on 6th Avenue North of Spring Street to 16th Street. The distance itself was enough to convince me but the event was so highly promoted and advertised across platforms that not attending was not an option, and it was so for a good cause.

From customized head to toe metro card outfits and people in IT costumes looking creepier than the movie character to families dresses up as the Addams Family and out-of-this-world make-up skills displayed in various forms, you name it, the parade had it.

The visual feast opened with what felt like an immersive invasion of likeable skeletons so powerful for engaging the crowd that it certainly boosted everyone’s mood and righteously set the expectations high.

Even random passersby were dressed as if they have been working on their costumes for the past five months, which a considerable majority of them likely have. What separated this particular parade from any other is the fact that it is has its foundational basis on the involvement of the public. In other words, the people marching, singing, dancing, cheering, or just standing to watch and film were all New Yorkers showing off their extravagant and unique styles in the best platform humanly imaginable.

This is America so Hong Kong Protestors, Warren Advocates, and LGBTQ+ Activists were obviously immersed in the crowd yet their messages didn’t surpass the spirit of Halloween by any means. The rides provided lasting entertainment for the crowd through their much-needed providing of energizing music and interactive approaches. There was just the perfect balance between spookiness and joy; it was very colorful and inspirational yet also creepy and unexpected.

At the end of the day, the effort put into this organization and the extent to which the general public took Halloween seriously deserves to be respected and appreciated at the very least. The amount of freedom, the level of diversity, and the means of interaction were all very specific to the culture of New York and the parade really reflected the uniqueness of the city since a majority of the bold looks couldn’t be handled by most societies.

The Halloween Parade was certainly a benchmark on my process of Becoming A New Yorker as it was a great example of partial culture shock and major admiration of the city but more and more examples are yet to come so make sure to stay tuned!

Until next time,

Yaprak

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Six Flags Great Adventure: To Fright Fest OR Not To Fright Fest

As the fall season began to unfold, my roommate went apple picking with her parents along with other American fall festivities, and Six Flags opened its Fright Fest in honor of the approaching Halloween season.

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

Just as we were looking up for tickets for the special event held at the amusement park best known for the extremity of its next-level roller coasters, my school announced they will be taking some students to the park as an excursion and I happened to be one of the lucky few who have been selected to attend.

It is worth mentioning before diving into the experience that this was a relief because transportation could potentially be problematic since the closest property of the theme park company is located at New Jersey!

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

Whether you are the type of person who rides the ‘most’ terrifying roller coaster five times in a row or you go to amusement parks just for the various cheat- day food options, Six Flags already speaks highly to your demand. Fright Fest, thus takes it to an entirely different level by further intensifying the factor of horrification.

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

There are people dressed creepily standing at every corner imaginable or they simply pop out of nowhere, just as you are distracted by the smog that adds up to the fear created by the unknown aspect. Their job is basically to scare you, and while they cannot touch or hurt you, they are allowed to push the limits of your patience and courage.

One of them indeed chased one of my friends for a while and she was about to get a panic attack! Kids who appeared to be braver than us, on the other hand, returned the creep attempts of those who tried scaring them by mimicking their actions! Thanks to such challengers, one can enjoy the experience even just by observing the reactions of such visitors.

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

My friends in particular weren’t the bravest of visitors so the scariest ride we settled for was a parachute-like lift. If you are driven by adrenaline, however, opportunities are literally endless and there definitely is something to challenge your bravery!

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

Here are some tips I got from experience so that you can make the most out of your experience at Fright Fest: Get yourself passes for the ‘special’ haunted houses, mazes, and shows that are NOT included in your purchase of an entrance ticket.

Apparently, all the things that make Fright Fest what it is supposed to be are offered as extras. If you want to try out many rides and don’t have a fast pass, chances are high you won’t have much time left for haunted houses so pick a side. Roller coasters are always there and if you are dying to squeeze two or three rides in between mazes and other attractions, I recommend that you arrive early and manage your time wisely.

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

Don’t go to Six Flags and not have either a Funnel Cake or your choice of Dippin’ Dots regardless of weather conditions. The ice cream maniac I am, opted for a delicious sundae despite the cold weather but don’t mind me! When you actually get hungry, and not just feel like indulging in those for fun, opt for the classic diners with a modern twist and enjoy chicken tenders or burgers (yes, they now serve vegan patties too) with a side of original French fries. You can wait for the line at Johny Rockets as well if you are that kind of a person.

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

Most New Yorkers don’t have the best impression of Jersey but this daily visit is worth challenging the norm as it promises an adventure. You surely don’t need a seasonal pass since New York has way too many options to limit your adventurous spirit to a single entity but a single trip is definitely worth your time and Fright Fest is undoubtedly the best time of the year to give it a shot!

Make sure to add Fright Fest to your bucket list for this spooky season and thanks for stopping by for this entry’s edition on my process of Becoming A New Yorker.

As always, stay tuned for further experiences on the road!

Best,

Yaprak