When the leaves turn red, orange and yellow and pumpkins are in season, it can only mean one thing. Halloween is right around the corner and communities across the country prepare for their annual Halloween Parades!

Towns and cities across the US bring to life characters from their favourite folklore, fairytales, and more, in displays of Halloween extravaganzas that cater to diverse audiences.

Let’s take you on trip to see our 10 most must-see Halloween Parades in the US. From the classic traditions to eccentric performances, you’re in a for a treat (or trick!)

Our Top 10 Best Halloween Parades

Check out our Top 10 list of best Halloween parades in the US – from New York down to Florida and across the nation to California.

  1. Village Halloween Parade – Greenwich Village, New York City, NY
  2. Village of Tarrytown Halloween Parade – Tarrytown, NY
  3. Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade – Salem, MA
  4. Anoka Grand Day Halloween Parade – Anoka, MN
  5. West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval – West Hollywood, CA
  6. Halloween in Manayunk – Philadelphia, PA
  7. Haunted Halsted Halloween Night Parade – Chicago, IL
  8. Bud Light Fantasy Fest Parade – Key West, FL
  9. Krewe of BOO! Halloween Parade– New Orleans, LA
  10. Portsmouth Halloween Parade – Portsmouth, NH

If you’re a big fan of spectacular parades you may even decide to jet off to take part. Wherever you’re traveling to, don’t forget to plan ahead and pre book your airport parking so you can save money and splash out on an even better Halloween costume!

Village Halloween Parade – Greenwich Village, New York City, NY

Founded by mask maker and puppeteer Ralph Lee in 1973, The NYC Greenwich Village Halloween Parade puts artistic misfits at front and center. Encouraging attendees to bring their wildest imaginations to life, the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade showcases and celebrates art, community, and difference.

The parade takes place in the heart of New York’s LGBTQ+ Community, Greenwich Village on 6th Avenue between Spring and 16th Street.

Arguably the biggest Halloween Parade in the country, the NYC Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is all about breaking the rules. However, one strict rule participants must abide by, to be in the parade you must be in costume.

Sleepy Hollow’s Village of Tarrytown Halloween Parade – Tarrytown, NY

For a more family friendly New York Halloween Parade, Tarrytown is where you want to be. Sleepy Hollow’s Village of Tarrytown Halloween Parade offers a festive and fun experience for all ages.

The parade starts at Patriot’s Park and runs south along Broadway to Main Street culminating in a block party on Main Street with live music, food, and performances. People can register to take part in the march as a group or float for an opportunity to win prizes!

With ties to Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the starting point of Patriot’s Park was the location of Wiley’s Swamp where Ichabod Crane spots the Headless Horseman. The Village of Tarrytown Halloween Parade is perfect for bookworms and literature fanatics!

Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade – Salem, MA

The historic Witch City of Salem, Massachusetts is infamous for the Witch Trials between 1692 and 1693. In Salem, Halloween isn’t a one-day holiday on October 31st. It’s a month-long celebration of ghouls, witchcraft, vampires and spooky stories! And it kicks off with the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade in early October.

The parade normally runs from Prime Group Shetland Park to Salem Common and includes a sensory friendly area from New Derby Street to Front Street.

At the Grand Parade, expect family friendly pageantry, music, and enthusiasm from thousands of attendees.

Grand Day Parade – Anoka, MN

Anoka, Minnesota is the Halloween Capital of the World. Halloween is serious in Anoka where Halloween art and décor is pretty much up all year round.

Anoka Grand Day Halloween Parade puts the youth at the forefront of the celebrations to honour the history of young Scottish and Irish immigrant tricksters who brought the tradition of trick-or-treat across the Atlantic. The route follows Main Street to 5th Avenue and finishes at South Street and Military Road.

The Grand Day Parade is not only unique for its history but also for its enthusiastic embrace of Halloween traditions. Bringing to life a charming and spirited essence of the holiday, making it a one-of-a-kind event.

West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval – West Hollywood, CA

West Hollywood’s Halloween Carnaval is rooted in the diversity of the community with an array of exhibitionists, performers, and thousands of people in attendance. An incomparable Halloween carnival, this spooky event is celebrated as one of the most unique attracting people from all over the world.

The Halloween Parade and Carnaval distance is about a mile along Santa Monica Boulevard between N. Doheny Drive and N. La Cienega Boulevard.

This free-to-attend event features an evening of live DJ sets, food trucks and thousands of attendees in their best spooky costumes.

Halloween in Manayunk – Philadelphia, PA

The Halloween in Manayunk celebrations boast a series of Halloween events on Fridays and Saturdays throughout October. The MNYK Trick – or – Treating day on the final Saturday of the month features the family friendly Pretzel Park Farmers Market Costume Parade.

What’s more, one of the unique highlights of the event is the dog parade where dogs and owners dress up in costumes.

Halloween in Manayunk sets itself apart with its focus on the arts, food and animal-friendly activities and strong community. Definitely an event to attend for those travelling with dogs!

Haunted Halsted Halloween Night Parade – Chicago, IL

Chicago’s Haunted Halsted Halloween Night Parade takes place in the thriving LGBTQ+ neighbourhood of Boystown. The parade is known for reflecting the diverse and inclusive spirit of the community, celebrating queerness and people of all backgrounds.

Registration and the beginning of the parade is at Halsted and Belmont and ends Halsted and Brompton. Following the parade is an Awards Show at 3514 N. Halsted where costume competitions take place with cash prizes up for grabs.

The spooky celebrations continue into the night with parties across various bars and restaurants in the area. If you’re lurking in the area at Halloween, the Halsted Halloween Night Parade is not to be missed!

Bud Light Fantasy Fest Parade – Key West, FL

Fantasy Fest is a 10-day long celebration of the spooky season with dozens of family-friendly as well as adult-oriented events and spectacles throughout, culminating on the final weekend of October.

The highlight of Fantasy Fest, the Bud Light Fantasy Fest Parade sees around 70,000 party goers roll down Duval Steet. Featuring imaginative floats, marching bands and spectacular costumes.

The festival is known for being one of the most vibrant and extravagant Halloween events in the United States with unmatched creativity and acceptance. For an unforgettable night, The Fantasy Fest Parade is where you want to be!

Krewe of BOO! Halloween Parade– New Orleans, LA

Blending Halloween festivities and the rich culture of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, The Krewe of BOO! Presents the ultimate spooky weekend with events taking place throughout.

The annual Krewe of BOO! Halloween Parade takes place in the historic French Quarter and goes through to the Warehouse District. The parade is child-friendly so the whole family can enjoy the ghoulish and impressive display of floats, costumes and music.

The distinct blend of All Hallows Eve lore as well as the New Orleans culture have made Krewe of BOO! A beloved tradition.

Portsmouth Halloween Parade – Portsmouth, NH

Portsmouth Halloween Parade has an unconventional approach to Halloween. This is a community driven and anti-commercial event in that it rejects corporate sponsorship and motor vehicles are banned.

Emphasis is placed on crafting and uniqueness, encouraging attendees to make their own costumes rather than buying them from a store. The parade begins on Pierce Island by Prescott Park and is walked by hundreds of attendees with thousands spectating from the curbs.

This grassroots Halloween parade is an all-inclusive celebration of community and expression with lively music and its scale and commitment to anti-commercialism make it a distinct and impressive event.

Which Halloween Parade Lures You In?

The beauty of these Halloween Parades lies in their capabilities of bringing in thousands of people from various backgrounds and celebrating difference. The parades allow for imaginations to run wild and the ordinary to morph into the extraordinary.

Whether you enjoy the traditional and simple Halloween festivities or you’re after grandeur, there will be always be an event to suit all tastes.

Which Halloween parades lure you in?

Image credits:
Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash