Tight leather on your hips, icy shots at your lips, big wigs that sparkle, blaring sounds that crackle, and a myriad of other elements that will reduce to a swirl of colours in your hazy memory come morning—this is what Halloween is all about. On any other night, you may get in trouble for wearing so little or sashaying too wildly in the streets, but not tonight! Consider this list your crystal ball for finding the best Halloween parties in the world to let loose.
Keep Those Eyes on the Star(lets)
If you want the biggest, bawdiest, loudest party to scare up a good time, there’s one place you can’t miss: West Los Angeles. The neighbourhood’s annual Halloween street party is the largest in the world, with nearly 500,000 people attending each year for a night of shadowy fun. You never know if you’re going to run into celebrities, locals, or travellers, but you can always count on a chaotic whirl of craziness. Enjoy eccentric costumes, blasting live music on six different stages, and a contest to crown the Queen of the Carnaval. Just remember to get those hands in the air when several blasts of confetti rain down on the thick crowd partying along the famous Santa Monica Boulevard.
Trust an Original
Given that Ireland is the homeland of the Halloween tradition, it’s no surprise that Derry hosts one of the biggest and spookiest parties on the isle. The city holds a massive parade of ghosts and ghouls, a fireworks show on the River Foyle, and a musical stage spotlighting genres ranging from rock to electronica. There is also a special carnival of acrobats, dancers, carriages carrying curious creatures, and odd inventions and musical instruments that brood and boil, toil and trouble down the streets.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Puppets
New York City’s East Village has been hosting one of the largest Halloween parades in the world for over 40 years. But don’t mistake its age for responsibility. It’s a raucous street celebration with over 50 bands, dozens of giant puppets, numerous celebrated drag queens, and thousands of revellers in costumes of every colour and theme your imagination can conjure. Word to the wise: New York means business. You won’t be allowed into the festivities unless you’re wearing a costume—the more intricate and grotesque, the better. It’s the only place you’ll find Gandalf dancing with go-go dancers, Superman chatting with Marie Antoinette, and a throng of steam punk kids partying with Ghostbusters in the late hours of the night.
Face Paint Your Way to a New Tradition
Ex-pats have made Thailand the go-to destination for Halloween in Asia. If you’re in town during the witching hour of October 31st, don’t miss Silom Soi 4, a popular street full of bars and clubs filled to the cauldron’s rim with festive visitors. As the Halloween party scene is still relatively new in town, feel free to set new traditions with plenty of dancing, cheering, and mingling with locals and visitors alike. You don’t necessarily need to show up in full costume—some face paint and wild clothes are more than enough to spook up a crazy night in Thailand’s loudest city.
Sin at Church
Toronto isn’t satisfied with only one day of Halloween merriment. The LGBT-friendly neighbourhood of Church-Wellesley puts on a week-long calendar of activities ranging from pumpkin carving to dining tours. The jewel of the week, however, is the street block party on Halloween that brings out hundreds of partyers in splashes of fake blood, superhero masks, glittered hair, zombie make-up, and fishnets. Prepare for blasts of music, lights, and costumes of all shapes and sizes, creating the perfect dark and spooky night.
With leather whips, painted lips, and costume zips ready for your attention, make this Halloween spook-tacular no matter where you’re partying!
What are you planning on dressing up as this Halloween?