Halloween is believed to be the one night of the year when the barriers between the living and the dead break down. It began as the festival of Samhain, part of the ancient Celtic religion in Britain and other parts of Europe.
Immigrants from Scotland and Ireland brought the holiday to the United States. The commercialization of Halloween started in the 1900s, when postcards and die-cut paper decorations were produced. Halloween costumes started to appear in stores in the 1930s and the custom of 'trick-or-treat' appeared in the 1950s.
Now it’s mostly an excuse for people to walk around in minimal clothing and get drunk (not that those are bad things, especially if you’ve got the body to pull it off). At least that’s what it seems like along Wilton Drive during Wicked Manors, the area’s premiere Halloween event.
Wicked Manors is usually the place for Halloween's most creative costumes. And this year's theme, "7 Deadly Sins," is sure to inspire guests to dress over-the-top The Pride Center at Equality Park hosts and benefits from the annual block party.
Wilton Drive is closed from Five Points to 20th St. and revelers fill the streets, taking in the numerous music stages and events at the area’s bars and clubs. Last year's attendance was estimated at 25,000, and it all takes place from 6 to 11 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31. Remember the $5 entry fee benefits the Pride Center so don’t be stingy. Tuck a five in the g string and drop it in the donation box on your way in. For more information, go to wickedmanors.org.
As fun as it may be, Wicked Manors isn’t the be-all and end-all of Halloween. There are plenty of other Halloween celebrations, as well as events leading up to and following the holiday. Check out some of these options.
Gear up for the holiday with a Diplomatico Rum dinner at Even Keel Fish & Oyster, 4100 N Federal in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, Oct. 30. The four-course pairing menu features craft rum cocktails for each course. Cost for the dinner is $63.50. The restaurant is also hosting a Halloween bash the following night with sampling stations from craft spirit distributors and boutique wine vendors and nibbles from Even Keel’s kitchen. The theme is “Downton Abbey meets Peaky Blinders.” Tickets for the event are $135. Call 954-530-6276 for more information.
Lona, at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, will be hosting a Halloween bash featuring DJ YSL, a costume contest and specialty dishes and cocktail offerings on Thursday, Oct. 31 beginning at 6 p.m. with contest prizes that include a weekend at the Westin, dinner for 10 with a special tasting menu, or brunch for six. The fun continues with Dia de los Meurtos celebrations through Saturday, Nov. 2. Specialty cocktails will include Toil and Trouble with gin, cucumber, lemon juice and kiwi puree; Vampire’s Kool Aid with Mezcal Jarritos fruit punch, agave, lime juice and red bell pepper; and Witches Brew with Don Q Rum, coconut puree, lemon juice, mint leaves and blackberries. Check it out at lonarestaurant.com or call 954-245-3069.
Don’t pack that costume away after Halloween. Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill, 3115 NE 32 Ave., Fort Lauderdale, holds its 6th annual Halloween Bash hosted by BIG 105.9’s The Paul Castronovo Show on the Day of the Dead, Friday, Nov. 1. There will be drink specials, signature cocktails and a notoriously competitive costume contest with $10,000 worth of prizes. Categories include, Sexiest, Scariest, Most Original, Best Group, and Fan Favorite. There will also be raffles and a late-night dance party. Call 954-900-5584 or go to bokampers.com for more information.
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