This was supposed to be the year I was going to dress up. As in, wear a costume. I had a plan (sort of) and my will was strong enough to overcome my personal moratorium on costumes.
This year, I would be Yoda.
Laugh, if you must. But I happen to think I would make a fine Yoda.
Alas, via a set of signs and circumstances impossible to ignore, it has been determined that Halloween 2012 is not the time for me to realize my inner and outer Yoda. However, reverting back to my uncostumed state does not preclude me from enjoying the many Halloween festivities this area has to offer.
Per usual, Halloween around these parts is the definition of a Big Deal—even when it falls smack in the middle of the week. Opportunities to fulfill your own costume destiny and show it off all over town abound. Consider what comes next a primer to get you started.
Blue Horse Gallery: The Blue Horse Gallery is home to no less than three Halloween parties—and one of them is billed as being a “Spectacular,” no less. Halloween gets an early start Fri., Oct. 26 with the first of the Blue Horse’s parties, this one featuring the talents of Boys Makin’ Noise. They’ll do it all over again Sat., Oct. 27, but this time, Bits and Pieces will get their ghoul on in the name of everything Halloween. Come Halloween proper, the Blue Horse has far more going for it than just its proximity to Thrillingham. The iDiOM Theater will take over the space for its Halloween Spectacular, which will feature music by Bar Tabac, decadent desserts by Chocolate Necessities, the crowning of the winner of its Halloween haiku contest, prizes for best costume, other assorted performances, a silent auction and much more. The whole thing is a fundraiser for the iDiOM, so feel free to dress up as your favorite philanthropist and make your way to the Blue Horse. Where: 301 W. Holly St. Info: http://www.bluehorsegallery.com
Boundary Bay Brewery: I was once hugged by a freakishly manly Teletubby at a Boundary Bay Halloween party. True story. Boundary has long been Bellingham’s holiday headquarters, and while it appears as though the brewpub is offering up a more subdued version of its normally raucous affair, something tells me its annual Halloween party (which takes place on the actual holiday) will prove to be a good time that is had by many. When live rock ’n’ roll by cover band the Listers combines with Boundary’s potent pints and a room full of grown adults sporting all manner of strange and surprising costumes, anything can happen. If a Teletubby happens to come your way with a gleam in his eye and a hug in his heart, just go with it. Where: 1107 Railroad Ave. Info: http://www.bbaybrewery.com
Conway Muse: Halloween and open mics don’t necessarily go hand in hand, but the Conway Muse is the kind of place that resolutely goes its own way and does its own thing—and Halloween is no exception. But lest you think this is your standard-issue open-mic night, it is definitely worth pointing out that at the Muse, there’s money on the line for those who get in the holiday spirit. Got a Halloween song you’ve been looking for an excuse to try out on an eager audience? Sing it at the Muse’s Halloween open mic, and it could nab you $150. The same amount is on the line for best costume. Win both, and your holiday could pay off in a big way. Where: 18444 Spruce St., Conway Info: http://www.conwaymuse.com
Glow Nightclub: Not dressing up means I get to spend the time most people devote to cobbling together a costume to watching horror flicks as a means of holiday preparation. Of late, I’ve been re-watching the Scream trilogy. Imagine my happiness to discover that Glow has dubbed its Halloween party, which happens Oct. 31, “Halloscream,” complete with a Scream-themed poster. All the usual holiday accoutrements will be in place—costume contest, cash prizes, drink specials—and Eagle Teeth and BoomBox kid will provide the musical entertainment. Get your Gale Weathers getup together, find yourself a Deputy Dewey and make your way to Glow. Where: 202 E. Holly St. Info: 734-1135
Green Frog: Newly minted as Bellingham’s best band (according to Cascadia Weekly readers), Polecat will take their award-winning act to the Green Frog for what is sure to be a foot-stompin’ good time this Halloween. As this is a band that can pack out Bellingham’s biggest venues on a regular night, I have no doubt that to get in at all on Oct. 31, you’re going to have to get to the Green Frog early. And if you dress up like James Hardesty, I’ll pay your cover. But you have to nail the hair. And the laugh. Where: 1015 N. State St. Info: http://www.acoustictavern.com
Redlight: I tend to think that everything delightful on Earth was made just for me, but I have to cede this Halloween event at the Redlight to Spencer Willhoft. You see, ever since Hedwig and the Angry Inch was unleashed upon the world, Spencer has been more than a little obsessed with the musical. If Spencer has a spirit animal, it is no doubt John Cameron Mitchell. And as far as ideas for Halloween parties go, I can think of few things better than giving the night over to the music of Hedwig (and his angry inch), which is exactly what the Redlight has done. Spencer will be on hand to put his spin on Hedwig’s songs, and he will be joined onstage by other likeminded local musicians, some of whom may or may not ask you to love the front of them. Where: 1017 N. State St. Info: http://www.redlightbellingham.com
Rumors Cabaret: Truth is, I have no idea what’s happening at Rumors for Halloween. I’m pretty sure a costume contest (complete with cash prizes) is in the works, drink specials are likely on the menu and dancing will be done by all. What I do know, however, that if ever there was an occasion when hanging out at Rumors is a must, that occasion is Halloween. In a town that truly gets Halloween, no one gets it more than Rumors. Where: 1119 Railroad Ave. Info: http://www.rumorscabaret.com
The Shakedown: We all knew Horror Business, Bellingham’s longstanding Misfits tribute band, would appear, devilocks front and center, somewhere in town, and that place is the Shakedown. But they won’t be alone. City of Lost Children have taken their weird and wonderful talents and applied them to the music of Nick Cave, and will perform Murder Ballads in its entirety and in their own inimitable style. So, if you’ve ever wanted to see “Stagger Lee” and “Night of the Living Dead” performed on the same stage on the same night, Halloween is that night and the Shakedown is the stage for you. Where: 1212 N. State St. Info: http://www.shakedownbellingham.com
Silver Reef Hotel Casino & Spa: The Silver Reef Casino has decreed that, for them, the holiday will happen the weekend before Halloween, with a party dubbed the Haunted Halloween Bash set to take place Sat., Oct. 27. This is where you’ll want to go if you have a killer costume and are looking to make a cash grab beyond the slot machines and blackjack tables. The prize at stake for best dressed: $500, which is more than enough dough to bring out the competitive costumer in all of us. Along with lucrative prizes, the Silver Reef will also offer up drink specials, dancing and a live DJ—and special room rates should you decide to make this a party that goes all night. Where: 4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale Info: http://www.silverreefcasino.com
Skagit Valley Casino: Also engaging in a costuming-for-cash competition is the Skagit Valley Casino, which will throw its own Halloween Bash Fri., Oct. 26 in the Pacific Showroom. Gold Digger will provide live music for the dressed-for-success partygoers, who are encouraged to dance the night away. Of course, with $1,000 in cash prizes on the line, it’s likely the centerpiece of this ghoulish getaway is the costume contest, so don your Halloween finest and come prepared to strut your stuff. Tickets are limited, and the Skagit has a proven reputation for throwing a worthy party, so if this is where you’d like to have your Halloween happen, you might want to ante up and score your spots. Where: 5984 N. Darrk Lane, Bow Info: http://www.theskagit.com
Swinomish Casino: At the Swinomish Casino, they prefer to save their celebrating for Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that takes place Nov. 1. If you too like to reserve your revelry until after Halloween proper (or if you have the stamina required to double-down on holiday festivities), make your way to the Swinomish, where you’ll find yourself being entertained by the Nines, whose sharpness of attire is matched only by the deftness with which they crank out all your favorite jams, both of the current and throwback variety. Where: 12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes Info: http://www.swinomishcasino.com
Wild Buffalo: A few years ago, someone gifted me with an iPod chock full of music. I had no requests with regard to the content of said music, save for one: that all signs of Ween be eradicated before I took possession of the device. Given that, the thought of the Rage Against the Ween party planned for Sat., Oct. 27 at the Wild Buffalo at which Acorn Project will play the songs of not only Ween, but also Rage Against the Machine, should fill me with trepidation. But it doesn’t, because 1. I suffer no similar aversion to Rage Against the Machine and 2. this show will be both totally random and a complete spectacle, and there’s nothing I like better than a random spectacle. As well, Acorn Project is made for a party like this, so you’ll be putting your Halloween in good hands should you choose to join them. On the holiday proper, Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na will take the stage at the Buff for the Verbal Herman Munsta Bash. Happy hip-hop Halloween. Where: 208 W. Holly St. Info: http://www.wildbuffalo.net
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