The BeetleJuice cast of characters, whose entry took first place in the 2018 Halloween parade contest. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Hundreds of people flocked downtown last night to watch the fifth annual Halloween parade on Main Street, an after-dark procession of elaborate floats, dancing zombies, monsters, ghosts and creepy characters.

There was something for everyone in the Sunday night spectacle, where creativity and cleverness took center stage: from dinosaurs and Dalmatians — 101 of them, costumed tots from Bright and Early Day Care — to swash-buckling pirates, classic Hollywood horror movie characters, Ghostbusters, the Addams family, BeetleJuice and Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King’s “It.”  

Originally set for Saturday night but postponed by rain, the event didn’t seem to suffer a loss of audience on a mild Sunday evening, as crowds packed both sides of Main Street from Griffing to East avenues. Many spectators turned out in creative costumes, too.

A panel of judges picked the top three entries and as BID executive director Diane Tucci noted, they did not have an easy job.

In first place, winning a $500 cash prize, was “Beetlejuice,” a three-vehicle caravan featuring a dozen or so costumed characters from the vintage 1988 comedy-fantasy thriller. It was created by “an entire neighborhood in Aquebogue,” said Tracy Stark-James. Dozens of people participated, with a core team led by Ezra Fife and Peter Ruland directing the design and construction effort. The team’s “coffin,” sidelined due to the washed-out coffin races Saturday, rode atop the lead car.

Second place was “The Addams Family” by the Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre youth group. It featured a cast of about a dozen kids recreating the characters from the classic comedy,
with music, vocals and dance. The second place prize was $250.

A “Hollywood Horror” float, featuring a mock Suffolk Theater marquee and characters from classic horror films — including Melanie being attacked by a crazed crow from the1963 Hitchcock classic, “The Birds” — took third place, nabbing a $125 prize.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Denise Civiletti

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.