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Whoopi Goldberg to Lead Village Halloween Parade

By Danielle Tcholakian | September 22, 2014 3:43pm
 Whoopi Goldberg was picked to be the Grand Marshal of the 2014 Village Halloween Parade.
Whoopi Goldberg was picked to be the Grand Marshal of the 2014 Village Halloween Parade.
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DNAinfo/Stephanie Keith; Getty Images/Larry Busacca (inset)

GREENWICH VILLAGE — Whoopi Goldberg will lead the way up Sixth Avenue at this year's Village Halloween Parade on Oct. 31.

"As a native New Yorker, I am thrilled to be a part of such a time-honored tradition," Goldberg said in a statement. "The parade brings people of this great city together, and the energy is always infectious."

Parade organizers said Goldberg's love of parades is "well-known," as evidenced by her participation in the 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the multiple times she's celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

"Whoopi Goldberg embodies the essence of what the Village Halloween Parade is all about," said the parade's producer and artistic director, Jeanne Fleming. "Her passion and enthusiasm for New York is unparalleled."

The parade will include 53 bands performing along the way, as well as hundreds of life-size puppets, organizers said. Thousands of people are expected to attend the annual extravaganza, which marks the event's 41st running.

Goldberg is slated to ride at the head of the parade in a float decorated in line with this year's theme, "The Garden of Earthly Delights." The theme pays tribute to the city's parks, urban development and New Yorkers themselves, according to Fleming.

In a poetic preview of what to expect, Fleming promised "parade puppeteers [who] will sow the seeds of a verdant garden, turning Sixth Avenue into a greenway of surging shoots, unfurling blossoms and tempting fruits dangling low from the animated boughs of a giant Tree of Life.”

Parade organizers said Goldberg will have a microphone and will interact with parade-watchers along the way, as she travels the route from Spring Street to 16th Street. The parade is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and end at 10:30 p.m.

"Halloween is the one day out of the year when you can be anyone you want and I am excited to be leading the pack," she said.

Last year's parade was hosted by another talk show host, Kelly Ripa, though it almost didn't happen as the parade's organizers struggled to raise enough money to recover from the losses incurred the year before, when the parade was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.

Corporate sponsorships and donations are still needed for this year's parade, organizers said.