Wicked Manors’ theme this year was Turn Back Time. And there were multiple sightings of Cher with sailor minions in tow.
But after the last couple years of COVID, most people seemed to be celebrating the present and the future.
More than 25,000 people swarmed Wilton Drive Oct. 31 night for a Halloween-street party that’s listed as one of the Top 10 in the nation. Costumes ranged from the basic leather harness and hat to the intricate, including LED-lit wings of an angel that appeared to be floating down the street. One was a skeleton with a sign boasting how they did their research and declined a vaccine. No matter if the costume was a social message, campy, and sexy, people lined up to grab selfies with eye-catching characters.
“We had four costume contests. The kids’ costume contest was adorable,” Pride Center Director of Development Roger Roa said. “It was a great event, including the rain. We are very thankful to everybody.”
The Pride Center organizes and hosts the event every year, and CEO Robert Boo says this year’s party hit just the right note.
“Wicked Manors 2021: Turn Back Time was a resounding success. We witnessed over-the-top costumes, happy families trick-or-treating, members of our community overjoyed for the opportunity to connect in-person and multitudes of people bringing patronage to Wilton Manors’ businesses.”
Three stages were set along the Drive, with Manor hosting the dance stage, another stage was set up by Matty’s while the main stage was across from Alibi and hosted the big events like the costume contests. Police were on hand to keep things flowing and safe, and were incredibly patient while working with people who were partying maybe a bit too hard.
Community events like Wicked Manors don’t happen without the support of the community, and Boo appreciates everyone who worked this year.
“As one volunteer with one of the non-profits working the entrances wrote to us, ‘I was so happy to help. Hope it was successful for The Pride Center and the local orgs helping. People were very happy to be celebrating together and even when the lines got a bit long at our gate everyone was so nice about it. Everyone was just happy to be back together I think. Y’all should be very proud for bringing such joy to the community.’”
Oct. 31's street party was the culmination of a weekend-long series of events. First there was Friday Night’s Double Feature Movie at Hagen Park with family-friendly Hocus Pocus and the grown-up fan of Rocky Horror Picture Show later in the evening. Then on Oct. 30 was the #WickedWeekend Saturday Splash pool party at Tru by Hilton.