Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Wonder Wheel and Spook-A-Rama Skeleton

Deno’s Wonder Wheel and Spook-A-Rama Skeleton. September 7, 2015.

Happy Halloween! Thanks to the extended season and the spooky holiday falling on a Saturday, which hasn’t happened in several years, Spook-A-Rama is open on Halloween Weekend for the first time ever. Coney Island’s legendary 60-year-old dark ride adjacent to Deno’s Wonder Wheel opens at 12 noon.

November 1st is the last day of the season for Coney Island’s two amusement parks – Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and Luna Park – which are scheduled to reopen on Coney’s traditional opening day, Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016. This weekend is your last chance to go for a first date or get engaged on the Wonder Wheel and brave the Cyclone roller coaster in 2015.

Related posts on ATZ…

December 23, 2013: Coney’s Parachute Jump & Wonder Wheel Lit for Christmas

November 13, 2013: Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round

March 29, 2013: Spook-A-Rama Revival: Vintage Cyclops Meets New Dragon

March 13, 2013: Coney Island 2013: New Ghouls Mingle with Old in Rebuilt Spook-A-Rama

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Halloween Parade

Kids in Costume including ‘Lily’s Arcade” for last year’s Coney Island Children’s Halloween Parade, October 27, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

This year’s Coney Island Children’s Halloween Parade, a free event for kids up to 15 years of age, is on Saturday, October 26th. The festivities begin at 11am at MCU Park, with magicians, live music, face-painting and costumed characters like Sandy the Seagull and Nathan’s Frankster. The parade will march down the Boardwalk to Luna Park, where registered participants will receive a 4-hour Luna Park wristband and other goodies. The registration form is available here [pdf].

ATZ snapped the above photo of “Lily’s Arcade,” one of the cutest costumes at last year’s parade, but never got to post it since prep for Hurricane Sandy began the next day and Halloween was cancelled in the storm’s aftermath. This year’s 4th annual parade is hosted by Coney Island City Councilman Domenic Recchia, Jr. and the Alliance for Coney Island. The event is produced by Coney Island USA, with the Chief Justice of the Mermaid Parade, Mark Alhadeff, overseeing the Halloween Costume Contest at 12 noon.

The Coney Island parade reminds us of the early days of the now ginormous, 40-year-old Village Halloween Parade. Founded in 1974 by puppeteer Ralph Lee as a Halloween activity for children from the Westbeth Artists Community, where Lee lived, the charming little parade used to wend its way from Bank Street to Washington Square Park, while a small audience of neighborhood residents watched from the curb. Oh, yes, those were the days!

The weekend of October 26 and 27 is also the final spin of the 2013 season for the rides at Coney Island’s amusement parks– Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Luna Park (including the Cyclone roller coaster) and Scream Zone– which open at 12 noon. Happy Halloween!


Related posts on ATZ…

October 8, 2013: Photo of the Day: Sunset at Coney Island Pier by Bruce Handy

September 13, 2013: Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round

October 26, 2012: Miss Coney Island & Her Cat Dolled Up For Halloween

June 10, 2013: Photo of the Day: Candy Treats at Coney Island Mom & Pop

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Creepshow at the Freakshow

Creepshow at the Freakshow Banner by Marie Roberts, painted in 2004. Photo taken October 27, 2012. © Tricia Vita

Artist Marie Roberts, whose sideshow banners adorn Coney Island USA’s facade, painted this one for Creepshow at the Freakshow in 2004. ATZ snapped this photo last October, but never got to post it or review the play since it was cancelled the very next day due to Superstorm Sandy! This year’s Creepshow, titled “Coney Island Criminals,” is opening this weekend, and Marie’s banner, which survived the storm, is once again in the window on Surf Avenue beckoning passersby to stop and buy tickets.

Written and directed by Dick Zigun, the interactive play takes its inspiration from an episode in the early career of Al Capone. The gangster got his nickname “Scarface” in 1917 after getting slashed at Coney Island’s Harvard Inn where he worked as a bartender/bouncer. More of Marie Roberts art will be seen in the show, including a painting of an Ivy League rowing club and the logo of Yale University’s secret society Skull and Bones, which is beguiling considering that the Harvard Inn was owned by a gang boss known as Frankie Yale and Dick Zigun is a Yale School of Drama grad.

The play also features CIUSA outside talker Scott Baker as Jimmy Durante, who got his start playing piano in Coney Island. Set design is by Kate Dale, the Juilliard prop shop supervisor and veteran “Best Mermaid” who has been the Creepshow’s designer for the past eight years. Since the Harvard Inn burned down long ago and even Seaside Walk, the street it was on, is no more, being in the audience at “Coney Island Criminals” and possibly getting hit in the face with spaghetti or made into the mob is as close as you’ll get to this place.

Coney Island USA, 1208 Surf Ave. Corner of Surf Avenue and West 12th Street, Coney Island. Creepshow at the Freakshow runs from October 11 through Halloween. Check website for days and showtimes. Tickets are $15 in advance or at the door.


Related posts on ATZ…

October 4, 2013: Art of the Day: John Dunivant’s Bizarre Midway

September 13, 2013: Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round

June 27, 2013: Photo Album: The Front of the Show at Meadowlands Fair

August 6, 2012: Art of the Day: Madame Twisto by Marie Roberts

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