Hartford’s Proud Drill, Drum, and Dance Corps performing. Photo: Ali McPherson

Bronxites come out to play at 34th Halloween Parade

A crowd gathered around Mia Tineo at the 34th Annual Halloween Parade in Hunts Point.

Hartford’s Proud Drill, Drum, and Dance Corps performing. Photo: Ali McPherson

A crowd gathered around Mia Tineo at the 34th Annual Halloween Parade in Hunts Point. The 12-year-old was dressed in costume inspired by Sally from “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas,” fitting the theme of “Tim Burton in the Bronx.”

Tineo’s mother, Hilda Castro was dressed as a witch because she spent most of her time sewing her daughter’s costume. 

Castro said her daughter’s costume was based on the scene where Sally falls from the window and sews herself back together. The Nightmare before Christmas is one of Tineo’s favorite movies.

Many residents attended the parade with their kids, dressed in elaborate costumes, while some came to watch the performances. Hartford’s Proud Drum and Dance Corp, The Marching Cobras and Extreme Creations were among the teams competing against each other.

The parade started on Simpson St., south of Westchester Ave on Oct. 26 and concluded in front of St. Athanasius Church on Fox Street. This years’ theme was “Tim Burton in the Bronx.” Bronxites channeled their favorite Tim Burton characters as they watched the marching bands compete and march down Southern Blvd.

Amyrrh Oliver, a member of a Philadelphia-based drill team called Extreme Creations, has performed at the parade five times. She said the team consists of his siblings and him.

“We get to showcase our talents and we get to see other teams talents. We’re having fun, doing something positive, and we’re not on the streets,” said Oliver, 19.

V Taveras, Chair of Community Board 2’s Special Events Committee, said the highlight of the event was seeing the community come together.

“It’s important because it all started when the streets were very violent in the ’80s” said Taveras, adding that the parade symbolizes the community taking back their streets.

Nazir Robles dressed as Beetlejuice.

Nazir Robles, 9, came to the parade dressed as his favorite character, Beetlejuice. His mom, Yulissa Robles, said it took her more than an hour to get his costume ready because he wanted it to be perfect.

Robles said his favorite part of the parade was watching the marching bands perform, and his favorite costume so far was 12-year-old Jaylynn Gaston’s dinosaur costume.

Gaston and her mother attend the parade almost every year. Gaston couldn’t remember much of last year but said her favorite costume so far this year was one of a guy wearing a cool mask that looked like he was being eaten by a zombie.

FogoAzul, an all-women Brazilian Samba Reggae drumline, performed at the parade. Velma McKenzie, who is one of the conductors for the group, was happy to be back for the second time.

“We have a love for the Bronx, it’s nice to have the Bronx come together especially for an event for the children,” said McKenzie.

Jaylynn Gaston in a dinosaur costume.

The highlight of the parade, she added, has always been seeing the smiles on the children’s  faces.

“Drumming brings a lot of people together, it’s a big part of a lot of different cultures. Music is a universal language so it gives us joy to watch kids feel the beat and get into the music and jump around with us,” said McKenzie.

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