HOLMBERG: Neighborhood that welcomes new nude statue hosts 10th annual Halloween parade

Posted at 12:02 AM, Oct 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-31 00:02:23-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- There aren't many neighborhoods in RVA that would welcome a life-sized, gleaming, anatomically correct, nude statue of David atop a hot new restaurant without at least some complaining.

"I think it's absolutely beautiful, shining in the light," said Oregon Hill resident Grace Higgenbotham of the copperish-golden statue on the roof of the regionally recognized L'Oppossum restaurant. (The statue went up for this week's Fire, Flour & Fork Festival and may not be up long.)

This is the same neighborhood that has, for 10 years now, embraced the All The Saints Halloween Parade.

David statue

David statue on the top of L'Oppossum restaurant.

"If it wasn't for Oregon Hill's support and receiving the parade, it wouldn't be much of a parade," said puppet maker and master Lily Lamberta, the mastermind of the Mardi Gras-style parade.

It's a very fluid, spontaneous and "Critical Mass-style," she explained, in which marchers and musicians (most notably the No BS Brass Band) gather in Monroe Park at 7 p.m. and then march through the streets of Oregon Hill sort of like a New Orleans funeral procession. All are welcome.

Many marchers carry Lamberta's giant paper mache puppets. There are lots of wild Halloween costumes and floats, oddities and an almost-anything-goes vibe that harmonizes with Oregon Hill.

Nude statue 2

David statue on the top of L'Oppossum restaurant.

A decade of this kind of free-form fun that still requires a lot of work and organization is no easy feat, said Lamberta of the All The Saints Theater Company. "So it's a big congratulation party to all the saints in the community."

The parade follows Pine and Laurel streets among others.