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Magic is in the air. More importantly, it’s in the streets. Wicked Manors is returning to Wilton Drive on Halloween night.

This year’s theme is We Are Magic, which will likely encourage many magic-themed costumes ranging from witches and warlocks to dusting off the old Harry Potter costumes. But the logo hints at a secondary purpose of the party: protest.

If you look beyond the logo’s fun, mystical icons, you’ll see words. Words to invoke how the relentless political attacks at state and local levels on the LGBT community. Say Gay. Say Trans. Say Non-Binary. Say Queer. Say Lesbian and more. This year Wicked Manors is a week before major elections in Florida (though early voting and voting by mail are both well underway) and can serve to galvanize people to make their voices heard.

Wicked Good Time

But primarily it is a party and party we shall. Up to 40,000 people are expected to pack Wilton Drive, its bars, its parking lots, and anywhere costumed revelers can fit. Three stages will line The Drive, with the main stage at Sixth Ave. across from Hunters. The Manor will have its stage and a third will be by Rosie's and Hamburger Mary’s. Alibi and Hotspots will have their own stage in the plaza parking lot.

The main stage will host a series of costume contests, starting with kids at 6:30 after their trick-or-treat time. 7:30 is for sexy costumes followed by the group costume contest at 9:00. Best Overall Theme Costume Contest is at 10:00.

As usual, many bars are expanding outside and setting up service areas on the sidewalks while DJs pump beats up and down The Drive.

Prepared to Party

Just four months ago, Stonewall Pride almost didn’t happen because of soaring expenses for security and emergency response costs. That will not be the case for Wicked Manors. Wilton Manors police say everything is on track for the event. The Pride Center, which produces Wicked Manors, has worked with law enforcement and their partners including fire departments to make sure the event is safe. The final meeting on security preparations was held last week.

That’s pretty much the state of affairs for the event. Carla Calavitta, Pride Center’s Director of Development, said, “We’re tying everything up, doing a hard push on marketing as we want people to know that Pride Center puts on the event. We want folks to know it’s a fundraiser.”

Money raised will go towards helping the Pride Center fund its year-round mission of being a gathering place for LGBT community members and organizations. Tickets this year are $10 and can be bought ahead of time online. There will be nine entrances staffed by members of other organizations. They will get 15% of their gate even if the ticket was bought online. So if, for example, you support SAVE, go to their entrance and they get 15% of your ticket fee.

The Drive will close at noon on Monday. There will be no parking on the Drive and there are few spaces nearby, although parking is available at The Pride Center for $20. People are encouraged to use the new Circuit electric car service if they’re in Wilton Manors. If you use rideshare, pickup and drop-off points are at Woman’s Club of Wilton Manors at 600 NE 21st Court and Publix at Five Points.

The party starts at 5 p.m. and runs through 11 p.m., with Wilton Drive expected to reopen overnight around 2 a.m.

For more information and presale tickets, visit

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