Despite the gusty, rainy weather outside, more than 1,200 Roosevelt Island children, parents and friends partied inside Sportspark Saturday afternoon for the annual Halloween Extravaganza.
The ghoulish, wet forecast had forced officials, at the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), to cancel the annual Halloween Parade of costumes along Main Street last week – the first time that had ever happened - and move the post-parade Extravaganza of bouncy houses, kiddie rides, monster tunes and dancing, arts and crafts, free food (hot dogs, popcorn, cookies, cupcakes, candy and plenty of cold juice boxes) all safely indoors.
“If you look at all the smiles on these childrens’ faces, it doesn’t seem to matter much where we staged the Extravaganza,” RIOC President Susan G. Rosenthal said Saturday as she danced with tiny Incredibles, Spideys, and Despicables and chatted up Island residents- grown-up pirates, dinos and cowboys – all while herself dressed as music icon Tina Turner.
(CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE PICTURES from the EVENT)
“This is just FANTASTIC!” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer who also dropped in on the fun and shared a few enthusiastic words with the crowd.
“I could not be happier with the turnout;” Rosenthal added. “So many of these parents are raving about how great this event is. This enthusiastic reaction is what makes this job worthwhile,” she said.
“I am also grateful to the many RI groups which contributed to the event: Urban American, The Octagon, Island House, Westview, Manhattan Park, Hudson Companies, Verizon, Cornell Tech, RI Seniors Association, The Main Street Wire, Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance, Island Kids and FDR Four Freedoms State Park.”
RIOC employees that helped produce the event were led by Jessica Murray, supervisor in RIOC’s Community Affairs Department. Those employees include: Erica Spencer-EL, Nicole Yadgaroff, Mary Cunneen, Shannon Skeggs, Eddie Perez, Andrew Feely, Gezim Simixhiu, Fernando Vargas, Nelson Soltren, Irving Cato, Ty-Wain Jackson, Juan Concepcion, Angela Rodriguez, Yaakov Trukhin, Luis Fernandez, Jeugee Perez, Ken Fludd, Alex Banashko, Christopher Crayon, Matthew Richardson, Chief Jack McManus and several members of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department.
The Roosevelt Island Halloween event is a community tradition that’s more than 23 years old.