The secret, Bobby Kyser claims, is in the make-up. Heavy make-up.
“There’s something about the energy. It’s unmatchable,” said Kyser, as he explains Wicked Manors, the annual Halloween Street Festival co-presented by the Pride Center and the City of Wilton Manors. Billed as South Florida’s only major street festival held on Halloween (Oct. 31), Wicked Manors brings together the realms of creativity, music, design and entertainment into one night along one street.
“It’s a way to promote Wilton Drive as a destination,” said organizer Doug Cureton.
Together, Cureton and Kyser created the festival in 2007 and much to their surprise were greeted by 7,000 people the first year.
This year officials at the Pride Center estimate anywhere between 12,000 to 15,000 people will attend the festival. The theme is “Walking Dead on the Drive” and Kyser expects the pavement to be filled with zombies, werewolves, vampires and anything else that requires hair and make-up.
“We know how gay people love to dress up,” Kyser quipped. “The energy this festival provides is amazing. I think it’s all the heavy make-up. Even the butch ones want to wear make-up on Halloween.”
For Wicked Manors, all traffic on Wilton Drive from NE 21st Court to North Dixie Hwy. will be blocked off, beginning at 3 p.m., so that festivalgoers can safely stroll the street. Treat or Treat for children begins at 5 p.m. with a kids costume contest at 7 p.m. and a pets costume contest at 7:30 p.m.
As the night goes on, the adults come out to play. DJ Pedro Rocha, an up and coming tri-lingual music maker, will provide the beats. A flashmob performance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. and a drag show, emceed by Misty Eyez, promises to entertain. Above all, it’s a night to get wickedly dressed up.
“There will be wonderful costumes,” Cureton said. “Some people really go over the top.”
A grand prize of $1,000 awaits the winner of the best costume matching this year’s “Walking Dead” theme.
For more information on parking and times, visit www.wickedmanors.org