Diocesan News

Ragamuffin Parade Marches On 52 Years And Counting

By Katie Engesser


The season of scary monsters and spooky villains is finally at hand, but in Brooklyn on Oct. 13, kids were more happy than horrified.

It’s all because of the Ragamuffin Parade, an annual tradition that brings the Bay Ridge neighborhood together for some family fun a few weeks before Halloween.

The march down Third Avenue began over half a century ago. Father James McKenna, then-pastor of Our Lady of Angels Church, thought the parade could be an alternative to door-to-door trick or treating.

But there’s one rule for participation: costumes must be homemade, nothing purchased from a store. So for years, kids wore their parents’ clothes and the parade got the name “Ragamuffin.”

From comic book heroes to heroes in uniform, and even some major historical figures – kids are encouraged to dress in their most creative costumes. Now decades later, thousands take part.

It’s a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. The yearly parade is always a top favorite for the kids (and parents) of Brooklyn.