A group of Roosevelt Island residents, calling themselves The Ghouls Of RI,
organized a local Halloween celebration last Sunday. According to the Ghouls Of
By all accounts, on this past Sunday, the Roosevelt Island community held
the best Halloween event anyone can remember. For two hours in the late
afternoon, fifty to sixty participating families, residents, businesses and
organizations ran outdoor Trick Or Treating stations
which together spanned over a mile long route along the east and west sides of
the island, from Southtown to Manhattan Park.
From simple tables to decorated scenes, adults and children alike donning
costumes, the island came alive with the Halloween spirit.
There was a state of the art photobooth,
there were stations with music, and costumes, fantastic costumes
The Outdoor Trick or Treating route was chock full of spooky and delightful
tidbits of human creativity on display.
One of the silver linings of the pandemic is the way people have begun to
think outside the box to find new ways to thrive. Nowhere was this more
apparent than on Halloween this year. An idea sparked by a local parent on a
community Facebook page last year was met with such enthusiasm and joy, it
seemed like a decided improvement on the way we New Yorkers used to do our
domicile Trick or Treating, where kids took to the halls and stairwells and
elevators in small, windowless spaces and came back with a truckload of a
Halloween haul. The new “pandemic Halloween” brought us out of our boxes,
into the fresh air, and it brought us together. It was New and Improved,
bringing some of the best elements of suburban Halloweens to the city. It is
an example of how hardship can make us better.
This year, we decided not to wait to hear whether Halloween would be cancelled
by RIOC, State or City officials and expand upon the brilliance of our outdoor
Halloween. This outdoor Halloween version of things was exciting precisely
because it wouldn’t have to be fettered by public officials, or be at the
mercy of changing COVID statistics. This year, the event went a little bigger,
putting out a call for participants early in October, with flyers posted
around the island
and conversations to bring in local businesses and organizations. Then big,
colorful posters went up,complete with a QR code that could be scanned for a
digitalized map of the route. While we don’t have an exact count of the
numbers, it’s estimated that nearly 1000 people participated on Sunday.
To all who participated, we thank you for linking hearts and minds with us
to make this event truly magical. While some old traditions may be on hold,
like the Halloween Parade, there is always space for new ones to be created.
Our entire community– from the youngest to the oldest– has made clear that
the Roosevelt Island spirit is here to stay. Thank you all for your support
of our second annual Outdoor Trick or Treating; we will see you in 2022!