Village Halloween Parade features festive New Yorkers, heightened security

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Wednesday, November 1, 2023
NYC pulls off 'spook-tacular' Village Halloween Parade for 50th anniversary
Lucy Yang has more on the 50th anniversary of New York City's Village Halloween Parade.

GREENWICH VILLAGE (WABC) -- The Village Halloween Parade brought festive New Yorkers, spooky costumes, and heightened security to Greenwich Village.

The NYPD ramped up security for the annual paradeon Tuesday night.

The Village Parade celebrated 50 years of fun this year, as the Israel-Hamas war rages overseas.

Police said security is always a concern due to the large volume of people at this parade, but the global climate is making more of an impact.

Officials say costumes can provide cover for extremists who are looking for "targets of opportunity."

"And yes you might want to wear a coat with your costume and police say costumes make their surveillance a little trickier, but they're prepared and monitoring the crowd in various ways," said NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell. "Obviously we are at heightened alert on what's going on overseas. Anytime we have a large event, with a million people, think about it, we are always alert. We have to keep people safe, we have to be aware of our surroundings, keep the parade going, make sure New Yorkers have a good time tonight."

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Though there were no credible threats to the parade, security was very tight and visible throughout the parade.

"Outdoor gatherings, including parades, are also at risk of unintentional vehicle collisions, demonstrating the criticality of pre-staged blocked cars and the deployment of other countermeasures, including barriers and bollards," the NYPD threat assessment said.

Tens of thousands of costume-wearing New Yorkers took part. The parade was free to view from the sidelines or to join for those who planned on dressing up.

The parade started at 7 p.m. at Spring Street and traveled north on 6th Avenue from Canal to 18th.

This year's theme was 'Upside Down/Inside Out,' reflecting on a return to "normalcy" after the COVID pandemic.

"I'm hoping we are putting positive energy into the world... that's all you can do at a moment like this," said artistic and producing director Jeanne Fleming.

Fleming said she knows there is a lot going on in the world that isn't celebratory, but she hoped the parade would offer a diversion and lots of joy.

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An assortment of Halloween candy is shown in this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023 in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)


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