Oct. 29, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Long Island City’s largest Halloween celebration has been canceled for the second year in a row – although scaled-back events for young trick-or-treaters will go ahead in its place Sunday.
‘Halloween in LIC,’ an annual event that typically sees hundreds of kids march along Vernon Boulevard, has been scrapped as organizers say heavy rainfall and high winds are expected to hit Queens on Friday and Saturday.
The kids festival ‘Fall Fest,’ which usually takes place at the Plaxall Gallery on 46th Avenue following the parade, is also off because of the impending bad weather. Both celebrations were scheduled to take place Saturday.
Halloween in LIC is set to return next year while Fall Fest has been postponed until Dec. 4 and will be rebranded as ‘Winter Wonderland’ with a holiday season theme, organizers said.
Organizers say that that the anticipated high winds and rain put the kids at risk and that they have been left with no choice but to put off the day’s events. They said conditions would also be unsafe for volunteers who would have to set up equipment before the events take place.
“It is just too dangerous,” said Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, a founder and co-organizer of Halloween in LIC. “It’s so disappointing because everyone was looking forward to it.”
Cerbone-Teoli said the decision to cancel was out of the control of organizers. She said the news is particularly tough to take since last year’s parade was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We have been organizing for months. We had everything set up and paid for, including a marching band, stilt walkers and more.”
Cerbone-Teoli said that next year’s parade will be the biggest ever Halloween in LIC in an effort to make up for the recent run of bad luck.
In the meantime, kids will be able to go trick-or-treating to restaurants in the neighborhood Sunday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Around 30 local restaurants have agreed to hand out candy, according to Kelly Craig, who co-organizers Fall Fest for P.S./I.S.78.
There will also be free pumpkin decorating events taking place Sunday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Bella Via restaurant, located at 47-46 Vernon Blvd., and at Manducatis Rustica restaurant, located at 46-35 Vernon Blvd.
The pumpkins are being donated by Pastor Patrick Thompson from the New City Church NYC. Sharpies, stickers and other stationery items will also be provided at the locations.
“We are trying to make the best out of a bad situation,” Craig said. “We think the kids will still have a great time.”
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