This is a quick look at the community procession at this year’s Night of Dread, an annual parade and pageant that is staged by Clay and Paper Theatre in Toronto, Canada every year on the Saturday before Halloween. It was originally created twelve years ago by Clay and Paper Theatre’s Artistic Director David Anderson as a community-based response to the over-commercialization of Halloween.
Night of Dread draws inspiration from Halloween, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and variety of other cultural traditions from around the world and urges the local community to “call on, mock and banish their private and collective fears”. It truly is a community event; everyone is encouraging to participate and bring their own masks, costumes and puppets…or wear ones supplied by Clay and Paper. The event is completely free, supported by donations and a small army of volunteers, who rallied at the last minute this year to pull off the event at the last minute after a miserable day of rain threatened to cancel it for the first time.
Night of Dread is easily one of the best events that we have here in Toronto. If you’re local or you plan to be in or near T.O. next October, you owe it to yourself to come out and participate next year!