Halloween is a holiday where we can revert back to our childhood and play dress-up, then eat enough candy to cause a cavity without feeling guilty. As adults, we still eat the candy, but the only trick-or-treating we do is at bars. And in a city where every bar claimed to have the wildest dress-up party, Halloween is the party equivalent of New Years elsewhere.
The Forum transformed into a giant pirate ship. The Breakfast Club had a Thriller Halloween bash with a Thriller dance contest, while SouthEnd Brewery had a Thriller Costume Ball of its own. The Dixie's parking lot became a costume concert for Grave Digger's Ball, the Neighborhood Theatre had a "Hootenanny," and Cans converted into Moulin Rouge for its Masquerade Ball. And then there was a party that was more like a carnival freak show, hence it's name: CarnEvil.
At CarnEvil, there was a fire-breathing clown, a torture chamber, and a tarot card reader. I didn't need a tarot card reader to know that a good night was in my stars. The slightly older crowd took dressing up seriously; some intricate costumes even had operating props. There may have been freaks, but no geeks, because everyone there knew how to celebrate the holiday of nightlife. But CarnEvil isn't so evil after all. The party's proceeds went to Carolina RAIN (Regional AIDS Interfaith Network).
Later that night, I hit up another philanthropy party, the Guys with Ties' Masquerade Ball at Cans where proceeds went to NoDa School of Arts. This party was also freaky, but in a different kind of way.
The costumes are obviously the most important part of Halloween. And when some contests prize winnings reach four digits, people go all out. I saw just about every comic book superhero, a sexy penguin, Stewie Griffin, a smarty pants (merely a girl with Smarties taped to her pants) and tons of sexy referees. A contender for the contest at Cans was a guy dressed like Adam Morrison, but the real Sean May was there dressed in street clothes. I suppose he was starring as himself. For girls, the costumes seemed to stay the same size as little girl's dress-up clothes. Halloween is a time when girls tend to dress like a total slut and no one can say anything about it. But dressing like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, a Playboy Bunny, or a Victoria's Secret Angel in winter weather is not only asking to be objectified, but for pneumonia as well.
I found that Halloween horror is perfect for the sober fun-seeker as well. I stopped by a couple haunted houses, such as the Nightmare on Independence. I also hit up Scarowinds where I really returned to my childhood. The tween and teen crowd made me feel like a chaperone at a high school field trip. Still, I screamed like a baby through the Slaughter House and the Borg and Huller roller coasters in the dark.
Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!
I obviously went to Uptown Magazine's one-year anniversary party where they were auctioning off "Uptown's Sexiest" to benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation. Emphasis on the quote marks on "Uptown's Sexiest" because I, along with five other, actually sexy Charlotteans was up for auction. With "Austin Powers" as the auctioneer, I knew the night was going to be groovy baby, yeah! And that it was. It was a good crowd: Jim McGuire, the host of CarnEvil was there, along with Brooke Gordon (also known as Jeff Gordon's ex-wife) who bought Noah Lazes for $5,000. Meanwhile, Cans Bar Charlotte purchased me for $600. Constantine, a manager at Cans, bought dinner at La Vecchia's Seafood Grille for a girl who's allergic to shellfish. Good thing I am a tax write-off. I thought I would go for clearance prices and would be lucky to get the charity $20, but apparently I am worth about a month's rent.
Psssstttt ... If you have any dirt or inside scoop on nightlife, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.