Ghostly events promise memorable Halloween in gay Chicago

Thu. October 18, 2012 12:16 PM by Anthony Morgano

halsted halloween 2011

photo credit // anthony meade

New Halsted Halloween Parade Route, ZomBeyonce and Circus Revolution

Chicago, IL - Halloween 2012 is just around the corner and queer Chicagoans can look forward to a weekend full of fun local events as well as some major changes taking place to the 16th Annual Halloween on Halsted Parade, presented by the Northalsted Business Alliance and Triangle Neighbors.

"Several new debuts happen this year, which are sure to elevate the event profile," Nirmalpal Sachdev, manager of Steamworks and chairperson for the Halloween Parade, told "A pre-party during the costume registration at Circuit gets things going early, the new route going south from Waveland on Halsted and ending at Belmont means more space and our legendary costume contest has some star power this year... It is certainly a night not to be missed."

The parade will be starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday October 31, later than in years past, with a pre-party and costume registration from 4 to 6 p.m. at Circuit Nightclub, located at 3641 N Halsted, just south of Waveland where the new parade route kicks off. For the first time since it's inception, the Parade route is lengthening and also flipping directions, traveling from Waveland in the north to Belmont in the south instead of the usual south to north route.

The incomparable Miss Foozie returns for yet another year to emcee as the costume contest participants strut their stuff down Halsted, competing for the thousands of dollars that will be awarded to the top costumes in categories like Best Group Costume, Best Drag Costume and Best Pet Costume. The audience will help determine the winners along with guest judges MaCray Huff and Katrell Mendenhall from the Style Network's hit show Chicagolicious.

The event culminates in a stage show at the Main Stage on Halsted and Belmont with performances by Miss Foozie, the Chicago Spirit Brigade, Environmental Encroachment and the Chicago Fire Tribe. With the impending end of the world predicted by the running out of the Mayans' ancient calendar, this year's parade theme is Apocalypse 2012.

"Together with Triangle Neighbors, we've put together an event that is sure to do justice to our apocalyptic theme," Sachdev said. "There will be no better place to spend Halloween than on Halsted."

Even though the Northalsted Halloween Parade is considered the most family-friendly Halsted event, there is a separate kid and family oriented event taking place on Sunday October 28 from 1 to 3 p.m at 815 W Roscoe. The Space Park Spooktacular features arts and crafts, games and a costume contest for the kiddies. More information about this event and the parade can be found at

Let's hope everyone's costumes are still in tact by the time Halloween rolls around, because the previous weekend's schedule is packed full of not-to-be-missed Halloween parties and special events. Everyone's favorite bars will be hosting Halloween nights -- complete with costume contests -- with Circuit's Halloween URBANO event starting Friday at 11 p.m. and Hydrate, The Glenwood, Spin and Sofo Tap, among others, all throwing parties on Saturday night. Crew Bar and Grill is also hosting a sing-along for the cult-favorite Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday at 9 p.m., featuring Curlene Ribbons as Frank-N-Furter, with a costume contest at 11.

(View a full list of Halloween happenings on CalendarQ)

Northern Lights, which organizes a monthly queer dance night, is teaming up with The Qu to present ZomBeyonce -- "a sparkly, fierce tribute to Beyonce Knowles" that is also a "welcoming Halloween costume party," according to an article in The Qu promoting the event. The party starts at 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 27, at Parlour on Clark, 6341 N Clark, and will feature the Northern Lights Go-Go Gothic Dancers and a costume contest for Best Sequins. Entrance is a $3 suggested donation, or attendees can bring socks, underwear, one day CTA bus passes or Walgreens gift certificates to be donated to the Broadway Youth Center.

Saturday will also see the opening of CLUB UP, a new weekly urban 5 a.m. party from Clubhouse Productions, the creators of URBANO. The opening features a VIP party with free door and hosted vodka bar from 11 p.m. to midnight and a costume contest with a $1,000 prize later on. Miss Ruff ‘N Stuff Hosts while the sexy CLUB UP Go Go Boyz dance and NYC's DJ Unknown and two local DJs, Anton and Kenae, spin hip hop, R&B, hits and reggae until 5 a.m.

After last year's wildly successful sold-out dance party "Zombie Revolution," CircuitMom Productions returns to the House of Blues, 329 N Dearborn, for their final Revolution party of 2012. "Circus Revolution - Evil Under the Big Top" welcomes back NYC's DJ Eddie Martinez, who made his Chicago debut in May of this year for their IML Revolution "Victory Party." The evening will feature the DJ spinning beats, sexy gogo dancers, spectacular circus acts and two performances by the legendary Circuit Mom herself. Tickets at the door cost $60, but special $40 advanced tickets are available at Cram Fashion, 3329 N Broadway, and online at

More information about these and other Halloween events can be found on CalendarQ from and Windy City Times:

Related: Spooktacular Halloween Costume Shopping

Dining: Throw on your spookiest Halloween costume and enjoy these tasty treats

View photos from Halloween in Boystown 2011:
Gallery One | Gallery Two | Gallery Three | Gallery Four