Those Village people

WPIX's Frances Rivera came as Cleopatra to anchor the Village Halloween Parade. Photos by Elton Lugay

By Elton Lugay

Jerome and Janelyn Bernardo from London were shocked to see gay pride revelry at Greenwich Village.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Janelyn. “It was quite revealing, the kind you don’t expect to see.”

Revealing, she said? I thought she meant the provocative costumes by some of the parade goers, until she pointed to actual nudity on display.

Welcome to the 39th Village Halloween Parade, said to be the largest Halloween gathering in all of the U.S. This year about a million participants poured into Sixth Avenue between Canal and Spring streets dressed as superheroes, movie villains, puppets and more. The racier ones had nothing but body paint or tats. This year’s theme is “I of the beholder.”

“This is the only time of the year where strangers won’t mind having their photos taken with you,” film student James Ceniza, who wore a ghost mask with black gown as Death, said. “It’s a great way to meet girls and start a conversation, no sweat.”

RN Felix Manuel cautioned, however, that “you never know who’s really behind the mask or costume.”

Channel 11’s Frances Rivera, a Filipino American, anchored a live coverage of the parade for WPIX dressed as Cleopatra.

Shortly after the parade, a group of men in tight, daring costumes broke up a pretend wrestling fight in the nude to the crowd’s delight.

“Halloween is not just for kids anymore,” said Jerome. “It has become a family affair, a time where everyone let loose, become someone or something else.”

“I always look forward to this event,” said a confessed cross-dresser, who said he is a married man with children. This is a rare occasion he can “flaunt my femininity, my true self.”

Felix Manuel (in shades) with some sailor lads

Janelyn Bernardo prefered the company of ghostbusters

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