October 25, 2005

What cities attract Halloween visitors?

Madison is one. But the authorities are saying we don't want you here! This is a party for insiders only. How do you close a town to outsiders? Does it make our party seem even more desirable and ... crashworthy?


Eli Blake said...

How do you close a town to outsiders?

How about, you announce that you found some sick chickens and that scientists from the CDC and the WHO are on their way?

This year, that would make a really scary Halloween story.

Brendan said...

What kind of a loser drives all the way to Madison just to walk down State Street in a rubber mask? Can't they get drunk in Minnesota?

XWL said...

UCSB (not actually in Santa Barbara, the majority of students live in the Isla Vista area) had become known as one of the main places in the late 80s/early 90s to celebrate Halloween on the west coast.

Every dorm and student apartment would have people on their couches and floors (I know from personal experience and slept on my friend's floor next to students from ASU, WSU and Cal Berkeley) and the streets would be full of the scents and effluvia (I didn't add any effluvia personally, and I can't really vouch for my scent after the celebrating) of celebration for days afterwards.

The administration cracked down in the mid-90s (and possibly the students were less party oriented) and now it's not so much of a neo-pagan harvest time Bacchanal as it had once been.

For the non-college age crowd, West Hollywood is well known for massive celebrations during the weekend surrounding Halloween.

Las Vegas (and formerly and soon once again New Orleans) put on large Fetish and Fantasy Halloween Balls.

Love the dress code:

"To gain admittance to the Halloween Ball, you must be dressed in the decreed attire or you will not be allowed to enter. NO discussions, NO refunds. There will no longer be a party pooper fine for looky loos and those who refuse to participate. Acceptable coverings include devil girl COSTUMES of any type, or FANTASY / FETISH wear such as uniforms, leather, lingerie, latex, rubber, p.v.c., feathers, saran wrap, or anything else you might dream up. Ladies may wear sheer fabrics, and revealing outfits, but NO NUDITY WILL BE ALLOWED. Pasties and liquid latex will no longer be acceptable, due to the wisdom of our elected officials, nor will rubber or other artificial genitalia. The fragile reputation of Las Vegas is at stake after all"

(couldn't say it better myself)

(and it's a shame about the artificial genitalia, given that plenty of those are featured in the popular show Zumanity)

Pat Patterson said...

I thought this honor went to New Orleans, does this mean that all the badly costumed drunks will stay closer to home this year.

Ann Althouse said...

I lived in Greenwich Village from 1976 to 1981, and it was just wonderful for Halloween. Don't know what it's like today.

SippicanCottage said...
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chuck b. said...

San Francisco's Castro District must have the worst Halloween problem in the country. It was a locals only event for many, many years (that is, a gay event) until sometime in the mid-late 1980s when "the general population" (around here) stopped being so freaked out by gay people and Halloween in the Castro became a hip and cool thing to do. Which ruined it. Now, hundreds of thousands of rowdy drunk people stream into the neighborhood every year and trash the place.

Suffice it to say, there were complaints.

After some lame efforts to move the fiasco downtown, the city gov't gave in and decided to recognize "Halloween in the Castro" as "a city event" in order to deal with it using city resources.

My advice: get corporate sponsorship. People looking for hip and cool will stay away from anything corporate.

Or Hire really bad bands, tell them to play LOUD, forbid the sale of alcohol and arrest anyone drinking.

A city can easily close a downtown area to outsiders. Steel barricades w/ an admission fee and lots of cops. No problem.

nina said...

Question for you, Ann: will you simulblog Madison's State Street Halloween? Certainly there will be episodes worth describing. I'll be tuned in here.

Ann Althouse said...

Is it on actual Halloween? If it is, I need to be home, handing out candy. I simulblogged Halloween from that perspective last year. If it's on a different day, I'll try to get some photos.

RobbyB said...

The Madison Halloween always falls on the Saturday nearest to the actual day. Thus, Saturday October 29, 2005 will be the day of fun.

Matt Brown said...

Nothing is as sweet as forbidden fruit... oops, I mean candy.

Beth said...

Pat, you're right, New Orleans is a great place for Halloween. But it's not like Mardi Gras, if that's what you mean by "badly costumed drunks." It's a celebration that hasn't altogether been taken over by tourism interests and Spring Break types. It's a really good hometown party, that some tourists are in on and enjoy. And Voodoo lives, as a religion, in New Orleans, so there's that, for them that practice it.