Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) — New York City’s annual Village Halloween Parade kicks off Tuesday night, in what will be the 50th anniversary of the iconic “spook-tacular” event.

The parade is set to begin around 7 p.m. at Spring Street in Greenwich Village and will travel north on Sixth Avenue from Canal Street to 18th Street.

This year’s theme is ‘Upside Down/Inside Out,’ reflecting on a return to “normalcy” after the COVID pandemic. While many people spent the lockdown inside, the parade looks to celebrate the freedom of coming out.

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“This year’s parade not only commemorates its own 50-year history but also pays tribute to those lost to various events like 9/11, AIDS, and COVID, as well as those who have been part of the parade throughout the years,” said Jeanne Fleming, long-time director of the parade.

The parade will honor music artist Laurie Anderson as grand marshal and Lou Reed as the posthumous grand marshal.

Parade features and tickets

The celebration will feature dozens of marching bands, including New Orleans-based band ‘The Young Fellaz Brass Band,’ who will lead the parade, hundreds of giant puppets and tens of thousands of costume-laden New Yorkers.

The parade is free for all to view on the sidelines or to join in costume. Tickets are not required, but are available and ticket holders will get VIP access and will have the option to choose from various ways to participate.

Tickets are available through the parade’s website.

Parade safety and security

Meanwhile, the NYPD is on high alert to ensure the safety and security of those attending the event.

While authorities say they are not aware of any “specific or credible threat,” the department remains on guard for any “would-be attackers” who could view the event as an attractive target, especially in light of the crisis in the Middle East.

“A variety of violent extremists and malicious actors have targeted similar mass gatherings in attacks and disrupted plots involving firearms, edged weapons, vehicles, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs),” the NYPD said in an event threat assessment. “The (Intelligence and Counterterrorism Bureau) further assesses that the US continues to face an elevated threat environment amid the ongoing mass casualty escalation in the Israel-Hamas conflict, and malicious actors may view highly publicized and crowded events like the Village Halloween Parade as targets of opportunity.”

The parade is expected to go until about 11 p.m.

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