Fright night is back! Greenwich Village’s Halloween parade returns to haunt NYC

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New York City’s Greenwich Village Halloween Parade returned for the first time in two years after it was canceled in 2020 for COVID-related reasons, with many costumed revelers choosing to pay homage to the pandemic. 

The frightful costumes included a pair dressed up in the now-familiar COVID-spiked ball, as well as those who carried an oversized proof of vaccination card, and another who brandished a giant vaccine-filled needle.    

Tens of thousands of Halloween revelers packed the streets of downtown Manhattan for the Village parade that’s been a tradition for almost 50 years. This year’s theme is ‘Let’s Play’, which is dedicated to the kids of New York who did not have a proper Halloween in 2020. 

‘This year we are inviting them to design the giant Puppets that lead the Parade!’ the parade’s website reads.

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Last year, the parade, as well as numerous other Halloween events, were canceled or scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, this year, organizers asked all spectators, as well as participants, to wear protective face masks. Some people even dressed up in the likeness of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during the event in the streets of Lower Manhattan. The parade route will span 6th Avenue, from Canal Street to West 15th Street, starting at 7p.m.

REMEMBER ME: People dress up in the likeness of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during the NYC Halloween Parade as the event returns to the streets of Lower Manhattan for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City

REMEMBER ME: People dress up in the likeness of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during the NYC Halloween Parade as the event returns to the streets of Lower Manhattan for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City

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IT'S A COVID PARTY: People take part in the New York City Halloween Parade, Manhattan, and some participants related their costumes to the coronavirus pandemic, the reason why the parade was cancelled last year

IT’S A COVID PARTY: People take part in the New York City Halloween Parade, Manhattan, and some participants related their costumes to the coronavirus pandemic, the reason why the parade was cancelled last year

SPOOKY PROOF: A couple participating in this year's 48th Annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade dressed up as a Pfizer jab (left) and a CDC vaccination record card (right)

SPOOKY PROOF: A couple participating in this year’s 48th Annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade dressed up as a Pfizer jab (left) and a CDC vaccination record card (right)

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THE MARCH OF HOLLOWS: Thousands of people attended the NYC Halloween Parade as the event returns to the streets of Lower Manhattan for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic

THE MARCH OF HOLLOWS: Thousands of people attended the NYC Halloween Parade as the event returns to the streets of Lower Manhattan for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic

ALL DRESSED UP: Some participants dressed up as unicorns (center) while others wore disco ball tiles on one piece suits (left) at the 2021 New York City Halloween Parade

ALL DRESSED UP: Some participants dressed up as unicorns (center) while others wore disco ball tiles on one piece suits (left) at the 2021 New York City Halloween Parade 

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NYC'S ANGELS: Five women dressed up as angels with enormous white wings as they pose for pictures during the New York City Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village

NYC’S ANGELS: Five women dressed up as angels with enormous white wings as they pose for pictures during the New York City Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village

Expected to be a night of freaky fun, dancing and music, costume ideas were encouraged to be related to game shows all the way from baseball players to even decks of cards. The parade featured newly assembled COVID-themed costumes and more than 50 music bands, dancers and artists. Super-hero costumes, as well as angels, anti-Donald Trump and Mona Lisa apparel, were plenty visible.

‘A lot of people will keep their costumes secret until they arrive. One of the fun things is not knowing,’ producing director Jeanne Fleming told the New York Post, adding that this year’s 48th Halloween parade in NYC is especially sentimental.

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

‘We were the first event to return after 9/11 in 2001 and this year, in a way, reminds me of that,’ Fleming, who has been helping with the organization of the spectacle for the past 40 years, said. 

‘It’s that feeling of ‘we can be together again.” 

ON THEME: Organizers encouraged participants to wear costume ideas related to game shows, all the way from baseball players to decks of cards (pictured)

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ON THEME: Organizers encouraged participants to wear costume ideas related to game shows, all the way from baseball players to decks of cards (pictured)

WHY SO SERIOUS: A person dressed as a clown takes part in the New York City Halloween Parade, Manhattan, New York. The parade was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

WHY SO SERIOUS: A person dressed as a clown takes part in the New York City Halloween Parade, Manhattan, New York. The parade was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

CHEF D'OEUVRE: A member of the festival chose an artistic dress up, as she dressed to be Leonardo Da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa figure for Halloween

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CHEF D’OEUVRE: A member of the festival chose an artistic dress up, as she dressed to be Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa figure for Halloween 

LOCK HIM UP: One man dressed up as former President Donald J. Trump in jail with a sign that reads 'A Term he is fit to serve: INMATE DONALD' while standing next to a NYPD officer

LOCK HIM UP: One man dressed up as former President Donald J. Trump in jail with a sign that reads ‘A Term he is fit to serve: INMATE DONALD’ while standing next to a NYPD officer

Marchers can only approach Sixth Avenue from the east or south as some streets will be closed for the annual festivities. Pictured: participants dressed as warriors walk down Lower Manhattan

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Marchers can only approach Sixth Avenue from the east or south as some streets will be closed for the annual festivities. Pictured: participants dressed as warriors walk down Lower Manhattan

This year's theme is 'Let's Play' which is dedicated to the kids of New York who did not have a proper Halloween in 2020. Last year the parade, as well as numerous other Halloween events, were canceled or scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic

This year’s theme is ‘Let’s Play’ which is dedicated to the kids of New York who did not have a proper Halloween in 2020. Last year the parade, as well as numerous other Halloween events, were canceled or scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic

Comedian Randy Rainbow was declared as the parade’s grand marshal after gaining popularity for his parody song ‘Mr. Biden (Bring My Vaccine)’ on YouTube last March, as the parade attempts to raise awareness for city residents to vaccinate themselves against COVID-19.

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Rainbow will be among 53 bands, dancers, artists who will walk down the city’s streets in front of thousands of New Yorkers.    

Local children will also be given the chance to make puppets on whatever topic they like to be featured at the front of this year’s parade as a partnership with the Children’s Museum of Arts, which is near the parade route on Charlton Street in Hudson Square.  

Listening to the crowd’s cheers and seeing smiles on kids faces is what Fleming is looking forward to the most, she said.

‘Hearing that cheering and seeing so many happy people, that’s what I can’t wait for.’

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PLANET OF MONSTERS: Some festivalgoers made monster figurines with sign on them reading 'Plastic Fuels the Climate Crisis' and Plastic is the Climate Monster'

PLANET OF MONSTERS: Some festivalgoers made monster figurines with sign on them reading ‘Plastic Fuels the Climate Crisis’ and Plastic is the Climate Monster’

BOTTOMS UP: People dressed as a breathalyzer (left) and a seltzer (right) take part in the New York City Halloween Parade, Manhattan

BOTTOMS UP: People dressed as a breathalyzer (left) and a seltzer (right) take part in the New York City Halloween Parade, Manhattan

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NYC MAGIC: Some participants taking part in the this year's Halloween Parade in New York City dressed up as blue-colored wizards as the festival's annual magic came back to the city for the first time in two years

NYC MAGIC: Some participants taking part in the this year’s Halloween Parade in New York City dressed up as blue-colored wizards as the festival’s annual magic came back to the city for the first time in two years

SPOOKY WALK: People show off their skeletons on NYC's streets as they part in the city 48th Halloween parade, which was cancelled last year due to COVID-related reasons

SPOOKY WALK: People show off their skeletons on NYC’s streets as they part in the city 48th Halloween parade, which was cancelled last year due to COVID-related reasons

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Meanwhile, late last month, organizers announced that a significant lack in resources threatened to cancel this year’s parade. 

But, UBS Financial Services Senior Vice President in Wealth Management Jason Feldman and his wife, Missy, saved the occasion by donating $150,000 to keep the historic celebration going.

‘It may not be the medicine we talk about these days, but I think it’s the best medicine for the city. Heartfelt, easy, fun thing to do,’ Feldman said.  

The New York Police Department provided security for the event despite saying there were no credible threats. Some streets were closed off and police officers were stationed at every corner.

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Four years ago, the city was just starting to gear up for its evening Halloween celebrations when a man driving a pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on a busy bike path along the Hudson River, not far from the parade route, killing eight people and seriously injuring 11 others.

IN HONOR OF THE DEAD: One man wore a gravestone that said: 'RIP John Doe. Drowned 28th Station 2031' while taking part in today's Halloween parade

IN HONOR OF THE DEAD: One man wore a gravestone that said: ‘RIP John Doe. Drowned 28th Station 2031’ while taking part in today’s Halloween parade

LET ME SEE: Thousands of New Yorkers gathered on the streets to watch the spectacle and observe different costume ideas in Lower Manhattan on Sunday evening

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LET ME SEE: Thousands of New Yorkers gathered on the streets to watch the spectacle and observe different costume ideas in Lower Manhattan on Sunday evening

A MELTING POT OF COSTUMES: People showed up dressed in all-types of outfits as they take part in the NYC Halloween Parade. The event retured to the streets of Lower Manhattan for the first time since the coronavirus disease

A MELTING POT OF COSTUMES: People showed up dressed in all-types of outfits as they take part in the NYC Halloween Parade. The event retured to the streets of Lower Manhattan for the first time since the coronavirus disease

MIND YOUR STEP: People dressed up as dead nurses take part in the New York City Halloween Parade, Manhattan, New York. The parade was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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MIND YOUR STEP: People dressed up as dead nurses take part in the New York City Halloween Parade, Manhattan, New York. The parade was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

One man wearing a funky outfit and rollerblades participates in this year's Halloween Parade infront of police officers and an ambulance in Lower Manhattan

One man wearing a funky outfit and rollerblades participates in this year’s Halloween Parade infront of police officers and an ambulance in Lower Manhattan

One man pointing at Facebook's new brand name, Metaverse, while wearing a Mark Zuckerberg mask was amongst the crowd participating in New York City's 48th Halloween Parade on Sunday

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One man pointing at Facebook’s new brand name, Metaverse, while wearing a Mark Zuckerberg mask was amongst the crowd participating in New York City’s 48th Halloween Parade on Sunday

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