Thousands of merry-makers, many dressed in elaborate Halloween costumes, paraded through lower Manhattan on Tuesday, undeterred by the attack that unfolded just hours earlier when a driver mowed down dozens of people on a bike path a few blocks away.
Revelers said they were painfully aware that eight people were killed in what authorities say was an act of terrorism but carried on with the festivities to show fortitude and solidarity with the victims.
“You gotta live your life, you can’t let things like this discourage you,” 60-year old Michael Spain was quoted as he walked along the route. “As sobering as they are, you still gotta come out and enjoy stuff like this - or they win.”
“Tonight we’re at a Halloween parade to say, you didn’t win and you didn’t affect us, and we’re out and we’re celebrating and we’re doing what New Yorkers do and we’re living our lives because we’re not going to allow the terrorists to win. Period,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told CNN.
“And that’s why I‘m here marching in the parade, not because I have a great costume.” said Cuomo, who was dressed in a suit and tie.
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.
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.