Traditions and treats

People come from around the state for longstanding parade

Hobokenites and out-of-towners marched in the time-honored tradition of the Ragamuffin Parade on Monday afternoon for Halloween.
The parade marched down the main drag, Washington Street, and stopped at the Little League field, where those not scared away by the cold got prizes of gift cards. This year, because the parade thinned out as it went, most of those who hung around for the costume contest got something to take home.
In the parade, a “Hobooken” float featured a blow up Frankenstein and chainsaw-wielding man. The Charritos float played music and sported fake wrestling fights, an American themed clown car hopped up and down the street, and the Red Wing band played upbeat music.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer said she loved how the parade brings the entire community together each year.
Leo Pellegrini, director of environmental services, said he loves the creativity everyone put into their costumes.
Paul Fried, 53, a 25-year resident of Hoboken, said he always dresses up for the parade.
“I begin thinking about how I can out do myself the next year starting on November 1,” said Fried.
This year, he dressed as a table with his head as the main course.

“Let’s go get some candy.” –Evan Jervis
Mother and daughter team Courtenay and Sarina Ahuja moved to town last December. They were inspired by 1-year-old Sarina’s favorite teething toy. So Courtenay dressed as a woman on safari as she pushed her little giraffe through the crowded parade in a stroller.
Megan Phalen, 9, a lifelong resident, dressed as Steve from minecraft, covered in painted boxes from head to toe.
“I like the parade,” said Phalen. “It’s nice.”
Phalen said she marches in the parade “to get candy” and was planning on trick-or-treating as soon as the parade was over.
Hundreds of people did so, in fact, visiting stores and houses to fill their bags with goodies. Police closed off a few blocks uptown where trick-or-treating and house decorating are vigorous each year.

Coming for the parade

East Rutherford residents Albert, Marta, Jonathan, and Evan Malave came to Hoboken especially for the parade and do so every year.
The family dressed in poker themed costumes because “it’s convenient for the stroller.” Marta and Albert dressed as the king and queen of hearts, with 3-year-old son Jonathon as the joker and their youngest, Evan, as the dealer.
“The kids love it and we like to dress up as a family,” said Marta.
The Malaves went trick or treating before the parade began to “try and beat the crowds” according to Marta.
Jonathan said he was able to get most of his favorite kinds of candy.
“I got the chocolate and the Airheads and and and more chocolate and the cherry and watermelon ones,” said Jonathon.
Ellen, Omar, and 1-year-old daughter Skylar of West New York came to the parade for the first time this year. Ellen who is originally from Hoboken, grew up with the parade and said she was happy to march in it with her daughter.
The two dressed as Thing 1 and Thing 2 and carried a stuffed Cat in the Hat in the back of a wheelbarrow.
Ellen said she likes the feeling during the parade, as everyone is happy and together and there are a lot of families in the area now.
Hoboken residents Amber, Brett, and 19-month-old Owen Thomas dressed as the scarecrow, Dorothy, and cowardly lion respectively. As a twist, Brett was Dorothy, in a blue plaid dress and pigtails.
He said he wanted to do a group family costume but “turn it on its head a little.”
John Sivo, lifelong resident, built his grandkids’ costume this year. He began building the settlers’ horsedrawn wagon in August and went online to buy horse shaped balloons.
Evan Jervis, 5, and his younger sister Stella, 1, dressed as a cowboy and cowgirl, as did their parents and got to ride in the wagon.
After the parade, the family trick-or-treats all around Hoboken.
“Lets go get some candy!” shouted Evan.
Marilyn Baer can be reached at

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