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Village Halloween Parade 2018 asks the public to embrace its inner robot 

For the first time, the public is invited to participate in a VIP section led by grand marshal Machine Dazzle.

The Village Halloween Parade returns, with a robot

The Village Halloween Parade returns, with a robot theme, for 2018. Photo Credit: Louis Lanzano

Anyone looking to express their inner cyborg may have the opportunity this Halloween.

New York City's annual Village Halloween Parade is inviting the public to join in the fun with a VIP section as part of its "I AM a Robot!" theme.

Jeanne Fleming, the parade's artistic and producing director, said that every parade may include fun costumes and dancing but the annual themes reflect what's going on in the culture at the moment. 

“When we go on the internet, we have to check that we’re not a robot,” Fleming said. “That’s why this year’s theme is a robot — intelligence. It’s a highly visual theme that people can grab onto. People will be inspired by the theme to create costumes.”

She said the robot theme actually clashes with the spirit of the parade  — to a point. 

“The parade itself goes against everything robotic,” Fleming said. “What robots don’t have that we have is imagination, and that’s what Halloween is all about. So, in a way, it’s a contrast to the robot.”

Costume designer Machine Dazzle, a winner of the Henry Hewes Design Award for his work on the stage show "Taylor Mac: A 24-Decade History of Popular Music," will lead the parade as grand marshal. 

“I don’t know who else would be perfect to lead a parade of customized creations for Halloween than Machine,” Fleming said. “He’s something so special and has been getting recognition for the costumes he’s made in the past.”

The parade will also consist of hundreds of puppets, dancers and artists, 35 bands of different types of music, and many more New Yorkers in costumes of their own creations. 

Dazzle will lead the VIP section of robots; to qualify for the VIP section, paradegoers must purchase their ticket on the EventBrite page, and create a robot costume of their own.

“Everyone in this section of the parade will be robots, but all will be different from one another,” said Fleming. “We don’t want people buying their costumes; we encourage them to make it.”

The VIP robots will line up for the parade at 6 p.m. at a secret location to be announced closer to the event. The parade starts at 7 p.m. from 6th Avenue, north of Spring Street, and will go to 16th Street. 

There will be an after-party with a "Mascureaids" Ball theme, whose proceeds will go toward the Research Foundation to Cure AIDS. Click here for ticket information.


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