Spooky Fun for All Islanders – Even the Pups

October 18, 2017

Despite the last gasps of summer last weekend, fall is determined to arrive on our little ship in the East River. 


As our beautiful island trees start to turn and the fireworks of fall colors take hold, our thoughts turn from outdoor play to pumpkins and apples. Here is a taste of what October brings for you and your little ghouls and ghals in the next few weeks.


Halloween Parade


Why head downtown for a Halloween costume parade when you and your little Frankensteins and Count Draculas can join in one right here on our Main Street? A revered and unique Island tradition, this year’s annual Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade starts at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, at Blackwell Park. Dress up and join in the fun as superheroes, princesses, goblins, and ghosts alike are welcome to walk down Main Street. The parade ends at Capobianco Field where games, rides, cotton candy, and family activities await until 3:00 p.m. (In case of rain, festivities will be held at P.S./I.S. 217 at 645 Main Street.) 


Sponsored by Urban American and RIOC, with the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, Rivercross, Westview, and Island House contributing, this year’s Halloween Parade promises to be even more ghoulishly delicious than last year’s. So dust off that witch’s broom and join in the Halloween fun!


WFF Dog Costume Contest


Who says our four-legged friends can’t join in the Halloween fun? The Wildlife Freedom Foundation, in conjunction with and sponsored by RIRA, Manhattan Park, Camp Bow Wow, The Delighted Dog, Starbucks, Wholesome Factory, and Duane Reade on Roosevelt Island, will once again be hosting its successful Halloween Dog Costume contest at Manhattan Park on Sunday, October 29, at 2:00 p.m. Activities take place at the Manhattan Park Theater Club at 8 River Road. All pups, their owners, and dog lovers are welcome. 


Participants are invited to dress up their hounds in their best, scariest, and funniest Halloween costumes to see if they can win one of the contest’s costume categories – including most original, scariest, funniest, and best trick in show – and snap up a prize. Doggie samples, raffles, puppy trick-or-treating, and door prizes for all dog attendees will abound. 


Go to tinyurl.com/WIREdogs for more information and to pre-register for this year’s event. Please note that attending dogs must be leashed at all times, current with vaccinations and valid rabies tags, and will not be permitted to attend if exhibiting aggressive behavior.


Pumpkin Smash Event​


After you and your family have had your fill of scary stories, candy, and Halloween fun, be sure to bring your carved pumpkins, decorative gourds, and other mushy Halloween decorations to this year’s Annual Pumpkin Smash and Leaf Collection on November 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Manhattan Park Lower Lawn, located between 20 and 30 River Road facing the Manhattan skyline. 


Sponsored by, and in conjunction with, RIOC, NYC Compost, hosted by BigReuse, Manhattan Park, Roosevelt Island Garden Club, and iDig2Learn, in collaboration with the PS/IS 217 PTA, RI Parents’ Network, Island Kids, Girl Scouts, The Roosevelt Island Youth Program, Beacon at PS/IS 217, Gristedes, Wengerd Farm, RIRA, and RI Explorers, this year’s Island effort will be to divert over 1,100 pounds of compostable Halloween waste, in the form of pumpkins and gourds from our City’s landfills, to compost that will feed our City’s trees, plants and landscapes. 


So, after the Halloween festivities this year, be sure to bring your mushy pumpkins, squash, or gourds – and your smile – as we smash some pumpkins, enjoy apple pie and apple cider from our Wengerd farmer’s market, and drink coffee from our local Gristedes. Donations of gently used Halloween costumes will also be gladly accepted at this year’s event. 


From all of us at the Common Council to you and your family, have a safe, sane, and very happy Halloween!



Jeff Escobar, 

President, RI Residents Association


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