The Irvington Ghost Tours have been drawing big crowds, the first Masquerade Ball at Irvington Coal and Ice was a sell-out within hours of tickets going on sale, the window painting slots were filled shortly after registration began at the Irvington library . . . and Halloween isn’t even here yet.
For Halloween activities, Irvington is the destination of choice in Central Indiana. With a week of activities, competitions, movies, performances, storytelling, costume parties for kids and adults, the east side stays hopping at the end of October. This year, the highlight event, the Irvington Halloween Festival Street Fair, falls on Halloween itself, pretty much ensuring that last year’s record turnout will be broken. Early weather forecasts say there is a chance of rain, but they’ve been wrong before.
On Mon., Oct. 26, the Art and Silent Auction took place at Our Lady of Lourdes. The event drew a standing-room-only crowd of people eager to bid on winning posters, original art, and much more. However, they also gathered together to honor individuals, businesses and organizations that have helped shape Irvington. This year’s Founder’s Awards were bestowed upon life-long Irvingtonian Marty Powell, long-standing Irvington business Guitar Town, and the Irvington Garden Club. Afterward, bidding on the live auction was lively, and raised thousands of dollars to support the Irvington community.
There are still plenty of events prior to the Street Festival, including the Vampire Blood Drive on Thurs. Oct. 29 in the Irvington Library parking lot from 3-7 p.m., Spooky Stories at the Irving on Thurs. at 7 p.m., and Scary Thursday Jazz at the Coal Yard from7-10 p.m. (5547 Bonna Ave.). On Friday, there will be a Zombie Bike Ride beginning at 7:15 p.m. in the parking lot of the library, and the Irvington Ghost Tours will be held at 7 p.m. and another one at 9:30 p.m. (tickets available on Johnson Ave. next to the Irving Theatre).
Planning on going to the street festival? Here’s some tips:
• Ritter Ave. at Washington St. is currently under construction. Washington will be blocked at Ritter (can’t go east) and Arlington (can’t go west). Traffic could be a mess, so exercise patience and leave plenty of time to get there and back.
• Parking is a nightmare. Do yourself a favor and park at the Irvington Plaza just east of the festival. There will be bike rickshaws available to pedal you to the festival and back to your car (free, but tipping is encouraged). Another great bet will be to park at Crestwood Village East (1123 N. Edmundson) and take a free bus shuttle. Look for the “Shuttle Stop” signs. If you can find parking on side streets, please be considerate of the residents and don’t block driveways or access. And remember Irvington has a lot of one-way streets.
• This year, there will be a free Bike Valet on Bonna and Audubon by the Pennsy Trail. Riding your bike in is a great way to save gas and hassle.
• The Festival opens at 10 a.m., and the Pleasant Run Run begins at 8:15 a.m. The run begins and ends at Irvington United Methodist Church, 30 N. Audubon — get there early and cheer on the runners!
• There are lots of children’s activities at the library at the corner of Audubon and Washington, including magic shows and animal shows, music, and lots more. If the kids get tired of walking around, this is a great place to rest.
• If you bring your pets, please pick up after them. Bring extra doodie bags.
• The Lost and Found booth is at the north corner of Audubon and Washington (near Starbucks).
• Public toilets are available near the Kid’s Zone at the library, near the Beer Garden at Bonna and Audubon, and at Ritter and Washington.
• Please support the hundreds of vendors, organizations, and businesses that make the festival possible. And thank all the hard-working volunteers who make the festival a success!
Last week’s Halloween Festival Guide will be available throughout the Street Fair. Pick up a copy for a full schedule of events, a map of vendor booths and businesses, and much more!