The children of New Rochelle started their weekend on Saturday morning celebrating Halloween.
The New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District sponsored the “Merchant's Urchins Parade,” an annual Family Days event that has been going on for over 10 years. With over 200 kids participating, it was the biggest turn out that BID has ever seen, officials said.
Nina Shawn Gainor, senior recreation leader for the city's Parks and Recreation Department said she thought families looked forward to the event every year.
“It is a very family oriented event. It is a great way to make businesses visible to families and families visible to businesses,” she said. “It has just been a very wholesome morning.”
The parade started at New Roc City and continued onto Main Street, eventually ending at Library Green Park. The children walked showing everyone their creative and diverse costumes.
They were also given horns to blow and were told to make a lot of noise to wake up New Rochelle. The kids then painted pumpkins and enjoyed candy, snacks and other refreshments when they arrived at Library Green.
Silvio Baricavic, a New Rochelle child who has been participating in the parade for the past few years, said he looks forward to it every year.
“After all you are only a kid once,” he said.
The children all had smiles on their faces and enjoyed showing off their costumes to the many people with cameras who were snapping away.
After the parade was done, the little ones did not hesitate to grab a pumpkin and start painting while treats were handed out. Even after they were done with the festivities, they had fun by taking advantage of the pre-Hurricane Sandy weather by playing outside in the park while still costumed.
“I decided to bring my kids because I know New Rochelle holds the parade every year and I missed it the last couple years.” said parent Tobina Sharples of New Rochelle. “I thought it would be a good way to meet other parents, and when I told the kids about it they got really excited. They were talking about it all week.”
The atmosphere of the whole morning was energetic. There did not appear to be even one child who was nothing but excited and spirited.
Gainor said she lives for this event.
“It is something that is so simple and so pure. The children are not hooked up to television or video games,” she said. “It is something I enjoyed just as much when I was a kid as they do now. It transcends through the years.”
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