Three Years After Sandy, the Red Hook Barnacle Parade Uses the Storm as an Excuse to Throw a Party

Red Hook celebrates surviving Sandy. All Photos Jane Bruce
Red Hook celebrates surviving Sandy.
all photos by Jane Bruce

Three years ago yesterday, 12-year Red Hook resident Anne O’Neil was at home in her Richards Street kitchen cooking risotto. Her friends, a couple, were fighting, and she wanted to spend the night alone with a book and a home-cooked dinner. She knew a storm was coming, but also that her gas stove would keep working even if she lost electricity.

“So I was making risotto, and stirring it, and suddenly I look and realize the sound I hear is six inches of water coming into my apartment,” recalls Anne. At 5pm, Sandy surged into the streets of Red Hook and, within an hour, the water was a foot deep. Three hours later, it was as high as a minivan. “I never knew it, but I found out that your bed and your refrigerator float.”

Yesterday afternoon, on the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy—between 4 and 6pm when the storm inundated the streets in Red Hook—the community gathered on Conover Street for the Third Annual Barnacle Parade, a traditional file of floats and kids and, in this case, dogs, dressed as various hurricane heroes (like Sanitation trucks and generators) and antiheroes (like towering waves and Sandy the Sea Monster herself) not only as a remembrance of what Red Hook was confronted with three years ago, but also to honor how the community has overcome it all.

“We’re using the hurricane as an excuse to have a party, but it really was something that brought us all together,” said Anne. “We are celebrating resiliency, and friends, and each other. We have a party together and march through the streets in crazy costumes because we like living here.”

Take a look at all the puppies, floats, and, yes, more puppies, in full Sandy Sea Monster garb (as well as some pretty cute kids on floats) in the Barnacle Parade slideshow below.

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  1. How could it be the Third Annual Barnacle Parade if it is on the third anniversary of the storm? Did they have the first one in the middle of the hurricane?

    • The storm was three years ago in 2012, the parade was held on its first anniversary (2013), 2nd anniversary (2014), and now its 3rd (2015).


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