Iconic New York City Halloween parade marches on after attack

EMBED </>More Videos

Lucy Yang reports on revelers hitting the streets for the annual Halloween Parade despite the terror attack hours earlier (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

New York City's annual Halloween parade is marching on amid heavy security following the truck attack that killed eight people in Lower Manhattan.

The parade stepped off Tuesday evening about a mile from where a rented Home Depot pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on the busy bike path along the West Side Highway hours earlier, with determined New Yorkers eager to show they would not be deterred by terrorism. The raucous spectacle rolled along with its floats, bands, anything-goes sensibility and thousands of spectators.

"I'm not going to let it scare me," Cathryn Strobl, a 23-year-old New Yorker, said as she waited for the parade to start in her Buffy the Vampire Slayer costume. "You can't let it stop you from living your life."

The event was kicked off by mounted police officers, drawing cheers from the crowds lining the route.

The NYPD added extra officers, heavy weapons teams and sand trucks as protective blockers along the parade route, and officials emphasized that New Yorkers should feel safe.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited the route as the parade started, and Mayor Bill de Blasio assured residents and visitors earlier that police were out in force.

"We are going to go about our business in the city, and we are not going to be deterred," de Blasio said.

Still, the mayor urged New Yorkers to be vigilant: "Tell an officer immediately if you see anything unusual, anything that worries you."

The parade, which is open to anyone wearing a costume, began in 1973 with a puppeteer marching with his family and grew into a televised extravaganza.

Photos: Revelers hit the streets for the NYC Halloween Parade:

Ghosts, goblins, zombies, superheroes, men on stilts, a bunch of human bumblebees and a float of topless people were among those making their way up Sixth Avenue as spectators bobbed to drumming and Caribbean music. Still, the crowds seemed thinner than usual to Tamia Gholston.

"The terrorist attack, maybe," said the New Yorker, who was dressed as Batgirl.

Em Weiss was in town from Seattle on business when her phone started buzzing Tuesday with worried people trying to reach her after hearing about the attack. Still, she donned a cat-ear headband, drew whiskers on her face and came out to the parade.

"Even though we're shaking, we're still strong," said the 28-year-old, who added the police presence kept her from feeling too nervous. "We're not living in fear...It sends a message terrorism doesn't win."

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

Related Topics:
societyhalloweenparadenyc bike path rampageNew York City
(Copyright ©2017 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)