Now that we’ve officially settled into spooky season, there are so many Halloween events to check out in Hoboken, Jersey City, and greater Hudson County. One of these events that locals look forward to every year is the Hoboken Ragamuffin Parade, which is held on Halloween each year. Details have been announced about this year’s event, but with a change. The parade will still be happening, but the costume contest is being replaced with a family-friendly Halloween celebration at Stevens Park. Read on to learn more about Hoboken’s 2023 Ragamuffin Parade, happening Tuesday, October 31st — as well as information about road closures and trick-or-treating.
About the Parade
The Ragamuffin Parade tradition dates back to the late 1870s when it was a part of Thanksgiving celebrations.
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History differs, but the two common stories are that children would wear either costumes or their parents’ (of course, oversized) clothes, giving them the appearance of ragamuffins. Another version is that it was an opportunity for poor children to go begging door-to-door for money or leftover food after Thanksgiving.
After the Depression, it became part of Halloween celebrations. While the parade itself has its roots in New York City, it has spread to mainly the outer boroughs. The parades take place in many other cities around the NYC area, but the Hoboken version is one of the best-known. It has been going on since 1963 and will return this year with a bang.
This Year’s Parade
Per Patch, The 2023 Ragamuffin Parade will be held on Tuesday, October 31st on 13th and Washington Streets. The line of march setup will begin at 3:15PM on 13th and Washington for an official parade start time of 4PM. The parade will head down Washington Street to 5th Street, turn east on 5th Street, and end at the Hoboken Little League Field located at 5th Street + River Terrace.
The parade will feature local live music, floats, and many awesome costumes. The costume contest will not be held after the parade this year, as the City noted that there has been a decline in attendance rates in the past few years.
Instead, there will be a family-friendly Halloween celebration at Stevens Park. The event will include music, games, and more — and special guests include the Funny Factory Clown Band, Ron Albanese AKA Polka Dot, Elvis “The King,” and the Hoboken High School Rockin’ Redwings Marching Band, among others.
Road Closures + Trick-or-Treating
Vehicular traffic will be diverted on Tuesday, October 31st due to the Ragamuffin Parade, per Patch. NJ Transit buses will run on an alternate route during the parade. Northbound buses will leave Hoboken Terminal, travel west on Observer Highway, and north on Bloomfield Street. Southbound buses will travel east on 14th Street and south on Hudson Street.
The Hoboken Police Department reminds drivers to reduce their speed, be alert for trick-or-treaters, turn on headlights, and stop before crosswalks. The City of Hoboken does not permit block parties on Halloween, and reminds residents to walk on sidewalks and to cross only in crosswalks. Avoid gathering, walking, or crowding in the streets.
In anticipation of trick-or-treating, police will close certain streets when too many pedestrians create a safety hazard for themselves and for drivers, the City said. Barricades have already been left on corners known to become crowded, including near 13th and Garden streets.