Hundreds of little witches, goblins, and ghouls from around the city gathered at Gracie Mansion on Saturday as Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray hosted their third-annual Halloween party.
A gruesomely haggard butler welcomed nearly 1,500 New York City children and families, some from homeless shelters and foster homes, to embark on a haunted house tour. Guests weaved through the cobwebbed estate greeted by City Hall staffers decked out in creepy costumes to enact spooky scenes, including a zombie wedding party complete with a private chef serving a slimy stew out of a steaming cauldron.
A tent set up on the front lawn outside the house invited kids to participate in a number of activities such as face painting, fortune telling, and magic shows.
The mayor and his wife also got in the spooky spirit and dressed up in social justice-themed costumes for the occasion: de Blasio played a labor activist, donning a brown suit and newsboy cap with a hand-painted sign that read, “A Living Wage for a Hard Day’s Work,” and McCray wore a coral dress and “Votes for Women” sash as a suffragette. They greeted guests and posed for pictures with children on the veranda.
The mayor’s office partnered with City Harvest to collect non-perishable food to distribute across the city this week, and with the Department of Homeless Services, the Administration for Children’s Services, and the Department of Education to bring families from across the five boroughs to join the Halloween festivities.
Damaris Pagan, who attended with her six-year-old son, Isaiah, said she was glad his school, P.S. 112 in East Harlem, invited them.
“He gets to dress up like a zombie and have fun,” said Pagan. “It’s something nice to do for kids, and a change from everything negative going on lately — including the scary clowns.”