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Everyone loves a parade, don’t they?
That all depends if it’s marching down your block, residents of Third Street in Park Slope said this week.
It was only after reading this newspaper did residents learn that the annual Park Slope Halloween parade would be rerouted down their block. The news was more trick than treat.
“None of us are anti-parade, and in fact many of us regularly attend the parade,” said Terry Alexander, a member of the Third Street Block Association. “Our biggest concern is that we were not consulted in the rerouting and literally at last moment were made aware that parade was being rerouted.”
Formerly exclusive to Seventh Avenue, the parade, organized by the Park Slope Civic Council,will now begin at 14th Street and Seventh Avenue, and veer west at Third Street and conclude at Washington Park on Fifth Avenue, where the festivities will continue until 9 p.m. The route was changed after lobbying by the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District to include a greater portion of the Slope in the parade.
Alexander said notes were slipped under residents door on Oct. 26 alerting them that the route had been amended.
Susan Fox, a member of the civic council’s Halloween Committee, called the new route “an experiment.” If it goes awry, she said, “we’ll try something else next year.” She said the new route is a “great way” to unite Seventh and Fifth avenues. “We’re hoping for a beautiful night and a great end to the parade at Washington Park,” she said.
William Russo, an executive officer at the 78th precinct said there will be additional cops along the parade route. “It should be safe and hopefully there will be no issues,” he told residents at the 78th Precinct Community Council this week.
Jerry Galante, community affairs officer at the precinct, said that in the past, “it’s not like there are broken windows on Seventh Avenue” after the parade, or “uprooted trees.” Ken Freeman, president of the civic council, agreed, saying that in years past, there have been no “acts of vandalism.”
Alexander said the fear is not that the procession — billed as the country’s largest children’s parade — will get out of hand. “But with any event, you have to make sure that proper safety precautions are in place,” he said. “There was no communication as to what the plans were and how long what forethought was given to emergency procedures.” Moreover he said, residents will be watching to ensure that their street and sidewalk is properly cleaned after the revellers have passed.
Pauline Blake, president of the community council, said residents should be open to change. “Those who never heard of the parade before...this will be their opportunity to participate,” she said.
The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 31, more information can be found at parkslopeciviccouncil.org.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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