Every October, we salute several local community members for their the civic dedication and leadership by asking them to serve as Grand Marshals in the Children's Halloween Parade. We sat down with one of our marshals, Sarah Neilson, Washington Square Park Administrator, for a few questions about the parade and her involvement in the nearby community.
What's your connection to this neighborhood?
I am the Administrator of Washington Square Park, and also the director of a neighborhood park group called the Washington Square Park Conservancy. So I spend my time working with the Parks Department and park neighbors in Greenwich Village.
What's your favorite thing about Halloween? Tell us about your all-time favorite Halloween costume.
My favorite thing about Halloween: it’s the most creative holiday of the year – I love homemade costumes and the mix & match decorations, like when you see a zombie sitting on a pumpkin with an enormous spider.
It’s one of the few holidays that’s really for everyone – all ages can participate. As for favorite costumes, one year I won a prize for “best concept” at a party, for a “spaghetti & meatballs” costume.
How do you feel about parades? Have you ever been in one before?
I love parades! This is the first parade I’ve been in, and I’m thrilled to serve as Grand Marshal.
The 2013 Children's Halloween Parade Grand Marshals are Melissa Aase, Executive director of University Settlement; Mary P. Cheng, Director of Little Star of Broome Street Day Care; Mariam Ehrari, Chair of the NYU Student Senators Council; and Sarah Neilson; Washington Square Park Administrator.