The cold wind couldn’t discourage Harlem’s trick­–or–treaters this past Friday as both children and their parents filled the The Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building plaza to celebrate the third annual ‘Harlemween’ costumed dance party.

The free event, presented by local nonprofit “Harlem Presents,” began in the afternoon and gradually grew larger throughout the evening as trick­–or­–treaters and passersby began to fill the plaza.

“Between the face-painting, storytelling, and the 25-foot screen, Harlemween has everything for families,” said Wally West, building manager for The Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building.

Dj Stormin’ Norman of Sundae Sermon, a local community organization, was on hand to supply the smooth soundtrack of soulful dance music.

“Greg called me up and said, ‘I’m trying to do this thing for the community” Norman said, referring to Greg Mays, founder of “Harlem Presents”.

Dance artist Moses Harper turned a group of ghouls, ghosts and goblins into bona-fide back-up dancers. The crowd learned and performed the “Thriller” choreography in front of Michael Jackson’s iconic video, as it was being projected onto a 25-foot inflatable screen. Children, adults, and even seniors learned the classic footwork, including the dancer’s “crotch grab.”

“Grab your belts as you thrust,” Harper told the crowd, and “to you grown men, use your imagination!”

This year marks the third annual Harlemween dance party since its inception in 2011. The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy forced the cancellation of the event in 2012, but many still see the it as a second option besides trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.

“Let them [the children] play, wear themselves out, and by the time they go home, they’re ready for bed,” said Betty, who had come to the show with her young daughter.

Pat Cokely, a nurse tech from the Bronx, no longer lives in Harlem but makes sure to bring her niece & nephew to the celebration every year. “It’s important for them to see Harlem, to understand what Harlem is about.”

The event drew much of its funding from New York City Council Member Inez Dickens, Healthfirst Insurance, and corporate sponsors Dunkin’ Donuts, Applebee’s and the Harlem Chamber of Commerce. Coca-Cola and Starbucks also lent their support, supplying the crowd with ice-cold sodas and piping hot coffee. The event culminated with the screening of Eddie Murphy’s “Vampire in Brooklyn” on the inflatable screen.

Harlem Presents, the organization behind Harlemween, is an offshoot of A Better Jamaica, a tax-exempt nonprofit community service organization focused on Jamaica, Queens. The group is comprised of community parents who are endeavoring to build support systems to assist single-parent households and families receiving financial assistance. A Better Jamaica was founded in 2007 and has many programs to bolster community spirit, such as “Family Movies in the Park” and “Classic Film Fridays,” as well as The Jamaica Ball. This event reaches out to other nonprofits in Queens and gives them a chance to reach donors that may otherwise be unavailable to them.