Oct. 20, 2019 By Allie Griffin
Long Island City’s largest Halloween celebration returns this Saturday with a new Alice in Wonderland theme.
The annual ‘Halloween in LIC’ will become ‘Wonderland in LIC’ this year and will offer community members and families a day packed with fun events and treats.
The day begins at 11:30 a.m. with a pre-party at LIC Gymnastics and LIC Dental Associates on 5th Street between 50th and 51st Avenues.
An hour later at 12:30 p.m. the annual parade kicks off in front of the 108th Precinct House at 5-47 50th Ave. Marchers will walk along Vernon Boulevard to 46th Avenue, as businesses along the route hand out goodies to trick-or-treaters in the parade.
The six blocks on the boulevard will be filled with more than a thousand costume-clad marchers, as the event typically sees.
Following the parade, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the P.S./I.S.78’s ‘Fall Fest’ at the Plaxall Gallery, 5-25 46th Ave. The festival will offer those brave enough the chance to escape from the Wonderland Haunted House, sponsored by the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy. Those who enter must make it past a bloody tea party, a deranged Cheshire cat and white rabbits and a murderous Mad Hatter.
Festival-goers can also treat themselves to something sweet and spooky from the event’s Halloween bake sale.
The Fall Fest will also have bounce houses, face painting, activity tables, arts and crafts and games, as well as tons of food, donated from local restaurants for sale.
All proceeds from the Fall Festival will help fund arts, music and education programs at P.S./I.S. 78.
“We are so excited that many organizations and businesses came together to make such an incredible event possible for LIC,” said Kelly Craig, Co-Vice President of PS/IS 78 PTA.
The day’s festivities conclude in a costume contest at 3 p.m., also at Plaxall Gallery. Winners will be selected from four groups — babies to 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds to teens, family costumes and adults, with each winner getting a prize.
The celebration will be full of fun surprises for children, according to Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, a founder of Halloween in LIC. Each business along the parade route will have activities and surprises for those marching and the event hosts will announce additional surprises in the days leading up to the 26th.
“On Halloween day, a lot of kids do go trick-or-treating, but this is a day for the whole family to go out and enjoy themselves,” Cerbone-Teoli said. “All the businesses get involved and it’s really lovely because everybody helps out and it’s just about the kids. It’s a time for the families to feel safe.”
The ‘Halloween in LIC’ events are sponsored by a lineup of local establishments including restaurants, health clinics, real estate offices, and more.
“It’s when Long Island City gets together in a little kumbaya,” Cerbone-Teoli said.