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Seven-year-old Chloe Lewis helped to soak Bay Ridge in a cloudburst of fun on Saturday — decked out as a pink shower curtain.
The Prospect Lefferts Gardens cutie preened and primped alongside a packed house of merry munchkins, who gleefully donned their glad rags for the annual Ragamuffin Parade.
The eye candy was sweet.
Four-year-old Sean Solitario of Dyker Heights held court as a wigged buccaneer in a pirate ship built around a stroller, with mom Jillian tagging along as a watchful sea rover. Bay Ridge 10-year-olds Chelsea Nunes and Thomas Skoczek also basked in the glory — and claimed two of the six top prizes — as storybook stars Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter.
The costumed cavalcade of jaunty, bright-eyed youngsters — from Captain America to a ghoulie bunny — added to the homespun trek, which drew a strong turn-out for its 45th year, said spokesperson Ted General, attributing the frolic’s festivity along Third Avenue, from 74th to 92nd streets, to Mother Nature’s cooperation and plenty of hype on social networks.
The parade has come a long way since 1967 when a pastor at Our Lady of Angels Church on 73rd Street and Fourth Avenue decided to bring a Manhattan reveling rite across the bridge to Brooklyn.
“It was a real old-time tradition, kids used to go from door-to-door, shabbily dressed and ask for a coin,” said co-organizer General, who had a personal stake in this year’s march — his 22-month-old granddaughter, Grace, came dressed as a cowgirl.
General added that three generations of children have participated in the tot walk since its inception, becoming a near-blueprint for kiddie parades around the country.
“It was very novel when it started out, there were no similar parades in the city or tri-state area.”
Grand Marshal Christina Tettonis, principal of the Hellenic Charter School in Park Slope, lead the charge, accompanied by a vintage motorcade from the Antique Automobile Association of Brooklyn. Tom Kane, the late founder of Brooklyn One Theater group, was posthumously hailed as the parade committee’s “Man of the Year.” His wife Ellen and mom Candy pounded the pavement in his honor.
In the end, though, it was all about the gussied-up kids.
The other winners, all of whom received bicycles, were 4-year-old astronaut Luka Puglisi; Maya LaCroix, 8, who came as a crayon; 2-year-old blue jay Fritz Field; and cupcake Ava Marino, 3.
Each costumed rug rat also received a prize.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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