MANHATTAN — With the Village Halloween Parade just days away, people all over the city are gathering their vampire blood, retro flight attendant uniforms and disgraced politician masks.
As many as 2 million people are expected to flock downtown on Monday for the 39th annual parade, which will feature hundreds of giant puppets, more than 50 bands and hundreds of thousands of participants.
And DNAinfo has created an interactive map with some of the best highlights along the route, from a mass performance of Michael Jackson's famous "Thriller" dance to a coreographed lightsaber fight between members of a group of devoted "Star Wars" fans.
Anyone in costume can line up to join the parade between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. on the east side of Sixth Avenue between Spring and Canal streets. The parade will travel north on Sixth Avenue starting at 7 p.m. and will officially end on 16th Street at 10:30 p.m.
Spots for official "Thriller" dancers are sold out, the group ThrillerNYC says on its website, but "zombie bouncers" to keep parade-goers from distracting the official dancers are still needed.
The "Jersey Shore" character Pauly D will DJ aboard a parade float whose theme is "Attack of the Zombie Guidettes from Beneath the Boardwalk," the reality TV star tweeted. After the parade, Pauly D will play a set at the West 46th Street nightclub Pacha, according to the club.
And the force will be everywhere, with dozens of costumed Jedi fighting their own lightsaber battles as they march in the parade. The New York Jedi have become a regular fixture after their first parade appearance seven years ago, acting out choreographed scenes both from the "Star Wars" movies and of their own creation.
Occupy Wall Street protesters also plan to join the parade, according to the website of a group called Occupy Halloween. Parade organizers couldn't be reached to confirm that the demonstrators would be involved.
Costume ideas on the Occupy Halloween blog include Wall Street zombies, corporate vampires, greedy pigs, mutant fat cats and the "Monopoly" man.
Occupy Wall Street is apparently considering its own parade float as well, according to its official Twitter account.
Anyone who walks in the parade will automatically be entered in the costume contest, according to the parade's site.
"Our secret scouts will scour the parade and hand contact cards to those we deem to have the best costumes," the site says. "Winners will be chosen from those who contact us."
Winners will receive a weekend stay at the InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel on East 48th Street and tickets to the off-Broadway plays "Stomp," "Fuerza Bruta: Look Up," "Standing on Ceremony," "The Fartiste" and "The Voca People."
A creepy 1878 drawing of a hot air balloon adorned with an eyeball provides the inspiration for this year's parade, according to its website. "Eye-Balloon" by French artist Odillon Redon is "at once so disturbing and yet so strangely familiar," the parade's website says.
The parade's organizers are calling for fans to email video footage of close-ups on their eyeballs to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Village Halloween Parade will post the videos on YouTube and project them onto a Great Eyeball float in the parade.
The official parade after-party for those age 19 and up will be held after midnight at Webster Hall, at 125 E. 11th St. The winner of Webster Hall's costume contest will win $5,000, according to the club's website.
At 2 a.m., clubgoers can experience the "Basement Bloodbath," when strobe lights, "violent lasers" and more than 1,000 gallons of "freshly harvested human blood" will coat the dance floor, according to the club's website. General admission tickets are available online for $35.
Those who prefer to get their frights from afar can watch the parade on WPIX 11 starting at 7 p.m. and NY1 starting at 8 p.m.
Information on street closures and changes to subway and bus service because of the parade was not immediately available.