Organizers of the massively-popular Northalsted Halloween Parade have flipped the direction and changed the time of the step off this Wednesday night, a modest change they say isn’t the end of the world — even though the theme this year is “2012 Apocalypse.”
Like the 43rd Annual Chicago Pride Parade earlier this year, the annual Halloween Parade’s route will see changes this year. Festivities will kick off at Circuit Nightclub (3641 N. Halsted St.), where costumed individuals will have a chance to sign up for the parade from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m, giving participants more time to prepare for the parade which starts at 7 p.m., a later time than in past years.
The parade procession will step off at Halsted Street and Waveland Avenue and head south to where Halsted meets Belmont Avenue.
This change marks the first expansion in the parade’s 16-year history and the first time it will travel from north to south instead of the typical south to north route. Similar to the Pride Parade, organizers anticipate more space for energetic revelers to let their Halloween spirit flag fly high in Boystown.
Northalsted Business Alliance, the group behind the parade, expects about 15,000 people to participate in the festivities this year.
“We expect an outrageously fun event,” said Jen Gordon, NHBA’s spokesperson.
Popular Boystown character Miss Foozie will be on hand to liven up the crowd as the official emcee of the parade, in addition to assisting judges in deciding the winners of the parade’s costume contest. Winners will take home prizes in categories like most original, scariest adult costume, best drag costume, best group costume best pet costume.
The parade will inject a small dose of fashionable star power with guest judges, MaCray Huff and Katrell Mendenhall, from Style Network’s “Chicagolicious.” Mendenhall, a former model and lead make-up artist at AJ’s salon, and Huff, a stylist and hair extension expert, will lend their expertise in picking out the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of Halloween fashion.
“They were actually brought on because one of our board members met them,” Gordon said. “This is a great opportunity to bring them on board. They’ll add more fun.”
The event will end at the main stage at Halsted and Belmont with performances from Miss Foozie, the Chicago Spirit Brigade, Environmental Encroachment and the Chicago Fire Tribe.