Forget those races on the west side, or the hundreds of festivals, fairs, conventions, and happenings that draw Hoosiers like moths to flames: the annual Historic Irvington Halloween Festival tops them all. A week of Halloween events in the most haunted neighborhood in Indianapolis draws crowds from all over, culminating in a huge Vampire Run and Street Fair that attracted a record 30,000 people in 2015.
This year’s festivities kicked off with a sold out Masquerade Ball on Oct. 22 with over 600 registered attendees and featured two bands in the Ice House on S. Ritter. Special guests included the Bride of Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Invisible Man, the Mummy, who mingled and danced with the masked revelers.
Then on Sunday, the Bewitching History Tour and Spooky Organ Concert had great turnouts. Monday’s Slightly Haunted Puppet Show and the Art and Silent Auction raised money for the festival, and other events also raised funds for the Irvington Legacy Project. Between Black Acre’s Trivia Night, the Kid’s Movie Night at the Library, and other events, there has been something for everyone in the family in this year’s festivities.
On Thursday, there will be a Night Out In Sleepy Hollow, where the winners of the writing contest will read their original stories, there will be professional storytelling, performances by the Irvington Performing Arts Academy will present scenes from “Dracula,” jazz, dancing, and lots more at Irving Circle Park, 300 S. Audubon at 6 p.m.
Friday night is the Zombie Bike Ride at 7 p.m. starting from the Irvington Library, 5625 E. Washington, and ending at BitterSweet for a taco bar treat.
This year’s Pleasant Run Vampire Run kicks off at 7 a.m. at Irvington UMC at 30 N. Audubon on Saturday. The Street Fair begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. The parade, always a highlight of the day, will be a go at 2 p.m. and start at N. Audubon Circle and run south to the S. Irving Circle.
After the Street Fair, the Wicked Wonders Street Fair Sideshow will be held from 8 p.m.-midnight at the Coal Yard, 5547 Bonna Ave. This is an adults-only event featuring Blue Monkey Sideshow, a showing of “Freaks,” and much more. Cost is $25 and tickets are available on the Halloween Festival Web site.
Parking will be a nightmare — East Washington will be closed between Ritter and almost to Arlington. Park at the Irvington Plaza, 6200 E. Washington and pick up a free shuttle bus. Another free shuttle will run from Howe High School to get on the free shuttle bus that will take you to Ritter and Bonna and Ritter and Washington. Handicapped parking is available at School 57 at the corner of Ritter and Washington. Audubon will be closed at the North Circle all the way to the South Circle. After the Street Fair, the Wicked Wonders Street Fair Sideshow will be held from 8 p.m.-midnight at the Coal Yard, 5547 Bonna Ave. This is an adults-only event featuring Blue Monkey Sideshow, a showing of “Freaks,” and much more. Cost is $25 and tickets are available on the Halloween Festival Web site.
This year’s organizers Melissa Whitney and Jessica Cooke have done a superb job bringing everyone together to make the 70th festival extra-special. In addition, without the support of the Historic Irvington Community Council, local businesses, volunteers, and many others, the festival would not be as successful as it is.
• IMPD East District officers will be handing out candy at East District Roll Call on Oct. 31 from 4-7 p.m. while supplies last. The headquarters is at 201 N. Shadeland; enter at Door 1. Other districts will also be distributing candy throughout the city.
• Official trick-or-treat hours on Oct. 31 are 6-8 p.m.in Lawrence, Indianapolis, and Beech Grove. Greenfield trick or treat hours are 5-8 p.m.
• Beech Grove Parks Department will hold a Halloween Party on Oct. 31 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Elton H. Geshwiler Senior Center, 602 Main St. There will be a costume contest and the Not-So-Scary Scary Animal Show with Silly Safari and Amazon John.