Highball Halloween: Masquerade on High 10/27/2012 Columbus, OH

Highball Halloween returns this year to downtown Columbus.  The annual event is a massive street party along High Street.  Highball will move to Saturday this year and while I’m no expert on downtown Columbus, it sounds as if it will also be a bit further south than last year.

For 2012, a Carnivale / Mardi Gras theme is sure to bring out the colorful costumes.  Plenty of events will fill the evening.  You can expect everything from costume contests (for both amateurs and fashion designers), make-up artists, dancing, and more stilt-walkers than you can shake a stick at.  However, probably my favorite activity at Highball is people watching.  People from every age and walk of life will be there to celebrate.

A mere $5 admission gives you access to all of this from 5pm-1am.  For more information, check them out here.


2011 Columbus, OH Trick-or-Treat times

     This is the first time I’ve lived in a community where trick-or-treating was sometimes held on a day other than the 31st.  This year however, it appears that activities will be held on Monday the 31st (as they should be).

Local Trick-or-Treat Times:

Bexley: October 31st  5:30-7:30pm

Canal Winchester: October 31st  5:30-7:30pm

Dublin: October 31st  6-8pm

Gahanna: October 31st  6-8pm

Grove City: October 31st  6-8pm

Hilliard: October 31st  6-8pm

New Albany: October 31st  6-8pm

Powell: October 31st  6-8pm

Upper Arlington: October 31st  6-8pm

2011 High Ball Halloween: Masquerade On High

     One of the most talked about and highly anticipated Halloween events in the Midwest, Columbus’ wildly popular Highball: Masquerade on High celebrates the art of design and masquerade. The signature focal point of HighBall is a dramatic runway/stage built on the street under the iconic glowing Short North arches.

     2011 HighBall Halloween: Masquerade On High takes place Friday, October 28, 2011 starting at 5 p.m. The wild street party takes place in the Short North Arts District on High Street at the intersection of Fifth Ave. This celebration of the fabulous side of Halloween, the art of design and the masquerade will feature a dazzling 60-foot outdoor runway under the iconic lighted Short North arches. With attendance topping 20,000, general admission is just $5 at the gate. VIP packages, including parking, private bar, backstage pass, preferred runway/stage seating are available via advance purchase at http://www.HighBallHalloween.com for $65.

     Highball features over-the-top masquerade competitions that spotlight the creative talents of both professional designers and amateurs alike. Finalists strut their stuff on stage before 20,000 cheering revelers. Thousands of dollars in cash and prizes will be awarded in several categories. This year, HighBall’s themes will add new twists to the design challenge. A real-time Costume Couture Fashion Showdown is a professional designer competition. The HighBall Costume Contest for the general public awards prizes in each of five competition categories:

– Most Radiant – costume features LED, laser, UV reactive or other glow accessories
– Best Transformation – costume transforms from one look to another
– Most Fabulous – an outrageously gorgeous costume
– Best Extreme Face Painting – beyond basic clown makeup!
– Best B-Movie Ensemble – a group category paying homage to the campiest of the campy 

     Other event features include: DJs, dancers, live stage performances, theatrical numbers, giant body puppets, light shows, real-time UV mural painting and the Dogtober Howl-o-Ween Canine Contest.

     Highball event information is available at www.highballhalloween.com. Complete travel information, including details on lodging, dining and attractions in Columbus and is available at www.ExperienceColumbus.com or by calling 1-866-397-2657 (1-866-EXP-COLS). The website offers on-line booking at more than 125 hotels.

What do you do for Halloween?

Halloween gets bigger and bigger by the year.  They say that more money is now spent on Halloween than any other holiday besides Christmas.  Judging by how early the Halloween  displays show up in stores, I’d say that they’re right.

Today I’d like to hear from you folks.  Tell me, what do you do for Halloween?  You may select as many of the options below that apply.  If I’ve missed something or you have a rather unique way of celebrating, please mention it in the comments below.


Boo on Broadway 2011

     Grove City’s Town Center will be transformed into a spooky destination. This annual, family friendly alternative to Trick or Treat allows children to dress in costume and safely collect candy and other goodies from area business owners. A fortune-teller and other spooky surprises will also be offered.

     Broadway will be closed from Grant Street to Grove City Road; Park Street will be closed from Arbutus Avenue to the first driveway west of City Hall. There will be no parking on these streets beginning at 3PM. Streets will close to traffic at 5PM and will reopen at 9PM.

Date: Monday, October 31, 2011 from 6PM to 8PM

Location: Grover City Town Center, Grove City, Ohio

Parking: Free

Mulled Cider Recipe


     With only 78 more days until Halloween, the nights are getting cooler and the first apples of the season will be showing up in grocery stores before you know it.

     This simple mulled cider recipe would be a great touch for your Halloween party or just a good way to warm up on a cool, fall evening.

     I’ve seen many fall and holiday events over the years where something as simple as this was a big hit. Try it for an after dinner beverage some evening. It’ll warm your bones.


2 qts. apple cider

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. ground ginger

4 cinnamon sticks


Combine all ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a simmer over low heat.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes and serve.  Mugs can be garnished with the cinnamon sticks for an added touch.

Notable Trick-or-Treating memories

     Over the years, I’ve had many Halloween related memories.  As grand as some of my adventures have been as an adult, I think the best memories are from the years that I was young enough to still go trick-or-treating.

     As a kid, you tend to feel the build up to Halloween even more.  You watch as the leaves continue to fall, decorations slowly go up, and the pumpkins on the porches transform into jack-o-lanterns.

     I realize that things are different now.  Often, children trick-or-treat at the mall instead of their neighborhood or even in broad daylight.  Well, things were different in the 1970s.  Back then it was still quite common to see packs of ghosts and ghouls, roaming the streets, in search of treats.

     Now as a youngster, the mere act of knocking on a stranger’s door and being rewarded with candy was quite a thrill in itself.  However, there were certain people who went the extra mile to make things really special and those memories stay with me to this day.

     We had one family who, instead of giving candy, would hand out nickels to all of the trick-or-treaters.  It sounds rather funny, because a nickel wasn’t much (even in 1977), yet I clearly recall that every child in the neighborhood made it a point to not miss out on “the house that gives out money”.

     One neighbor would have a life-sized scarecrow sitting outside his door, with spooky music playing in the background.  On one year in particular, our neighbor removed the scarecrow on Halloween night, dressed in its clothes, placed a jack-o-lantern on his head, and sat himself down in the same spot. 

     He would wait for kids to get close and then reach out for them while laughing a hideous laugh.  This totally scared the bejeezus out of everyone involved.  Good times!

     We had one older couple down the street who always took pictures of all the kids.  They would set up a 35mm camera and snap pictures, just as the kids said “trick-or-treat”.  They also gave out little prizes for their favorite costumes of the night. 

     I always thought that this was very sweet.  Sweeter still (though quite sad) was the fact that the husband continued this practice for a couple of years, after his wife had passed away.  It’s unfortunate but I suppose that if someone were to do that today, parents would be terribly alarmed at having someone take pictures of their children.

     My favorite trick-or-treating memory of all time was one that parents probably should have been concerned about, there just didn’t happen to be any adults around at the time.  I grew up in Henrietta, NY (a suburb of Rochester).  It was a quiet little neighborhood and as such, parents weren’t afraid to let kids go off on their own (so long as they remained relatively close to home).

     I believe it was 1981 and I was 11 years old at the time.  My buddy Jason and I were wrapping up a long evening of trick-or-treating.  Just as we were about to head back home, we stumbled upon a curious house.

    The lights were all out (the international signal for “we don’t want trick-or-treaters) but there was very loud “haunted house music” coming from the house.  We looked at each other and shrugged.  Figuring that it would be a shame to miss out on any extra candy, we proceeded down the driveway, to the house.

     Arriving at the front door, we were met with another strange sight.  The door was wide open and there was still no sign of light from within the house.  I was a rather timid youth and was quite ready to turn around and leave.  However, before I could, Jason reached up and pressed the doorbell.

     Immediately, from within the blackness of the house, we heard a woman calling to us and the sound of chains rattling.  At this point we were too startled to move so we just stood there, staring into the blackness.

    As we watched, a woman crawled (yes crawled!) into view.  Not only that, but she was half-naked!  Clad only in a flimsy, white teddy, the woman crawled toward the door. 

     “Thank you for coming boys.  You must save me from my master!” she said.

     Our 11 year-old eyes were out of their sockets, wanting dearly to stare at her barely covered breasts but feeling the urge to run screaming into the night at the same time.

     Then things got really weird.  Now in full view, it became clear that the woman had a collar around her neck and was tethered by a chain.  The chain was held by a large, bare-chested man who emerged from the dark.

     “Candy, candy…candy for the children” he said.  His voice was slightly muffled under a horrid Don Post mask (like the one in this picture).

     The man held the chain, preventing the woman from “escaping”, and proceeded to stuff a TON of candy into our bags.  With that done, he shut the door and we ran off into the night.

     Neither of us mentioned that to our parents, for fear of freaking them out.  We certainly didn’t want to be prevented from trick-or-treating on our own, in future years.


     Well, thank you for reading.  If you’ve read this far, I’m betting that you have some great Halloween memories of your own.  Please take just a moment and leave a comment.  I would love to hear your tales.  We’re less than 100 days from Halloween, it’s not too late to make sure that you can create some memories this year!

Forest Park Retirement Community (Victor, NY) 10.23.09

     This was my first event with an older crowd.  When I say “older”, I mean that most of the residents were over 90 years old.  At any rate, a good time was had by all.

     High point of the night was the fact that a number of them could actually remember seeing Frankenstein in the theater, when it was originally released!




Calling all Halloween enthusiasts!!!!


Image via Wikipedia

     Are you someone who really enjoys Halloween?  I’m trying to find as many Halloween enthusiasts as possible, in the WordPress community.  Why do you enjoy it?  Which activities do you enjoy the most? 

     Please take just a moment to leave a comment below.  With less than 100 days until Halloween, I’d like to find as many of you out there as possible so that we can exchange ideas, recipes, pictures, or whatever.

     Whether you’re into costumes, cooking, crafting, Halloween parties, haunted houses, scary movies, I’d love to add you to the list.