Top three neighborhood association celebrations
Speaking of parades, Chicago not only provides quaint block parties better than the suburbs', but also organizes neighborhood celebrations that put the Thriller video street dance to shame.
1) Goudy Park (1255 N. Astor St.). You won't see a lot of candy being passed out at Barney's New York, but the Gold Coast does roll out the red carpet for youngsters hoping for a little less Gucci and a little more ghastly. Local Goudy Park transforms itself into "Ghouly Park" with attractions such as inflatables, a "ghouly" graveyard, Puppetbike and a roaming magician. The Ghouly Park event is held on Oct. 31 and sponsored by Gold Coast Neighbors, the Chicago Park District and Mayor Daley's Kidstart.
2) Buena Park Neighbors Safe Trick-or-Treating (Kenmore from Irving Park to Montrose). Buena Park, north of Lakeview and south of Uptown, hosts a Safe Trick-or-Treating event on Kenmore Avenue every Halloween that sees upward of 300 kids. The neighborhood association also doles out an award for the best decorated house with a gift certificate to a local restaurant. Festivities start at 5 p.m. on Halloween.
3) Roscoe Village Halloween Parade. Roscoe Village Neighbors organizes a parade, starting on Leavitt Street, every year for everyone from little tykes getting pulled by their parents in wagons to big kids who help lead the costumed throngs down Roscoe Street. Former neighborhood board member Andrea Helms says, "The highlight of the parade is the Lane Tech Marching Band leading the crowd. I think that sets it apart from other neighborhood events." The parade will be held this year at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 30.
Sara Fisher is a mother of two living in Roscoe Village. She also blogs at selfmademom.net.
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