Halloween is the most wonderful time of the year. Whether you’re here for the candy, the costumes, the pagan overtones or the desperate need to just be someone else for a little while, this unquestionably greatest of holidays offers something for everyone.
But what to do? While the general creepy fall activities have begun to stretch all the way to late August with the Louisville Zombie Attack, the weekend real estate close to Oct. 31 is always so chock full of action, it can be tough to figure out the best way to spend your frightful Friday and Samhain Saturday, not to mention the actual All Hallows Eve, which falls on a Monday this year. Here are a couple of suggestions from this Halloweenophile — there’s a little music, a little art, a little theater and a little karaoke. Also costumes.
Kick off Friday, Oct. 28, with a visit to ReSurfaced for Howell Dawdy’s Hoot & Holler Karaoke. Rad Louisvillians know Dawdy for his deadpan humor and tight flow in such hits as “Fire Extinguisher” and “Boo, I’m a Ghost.” Dawdy has been running a monthly karaoke jam at Zanzabar, and it’s always a blast; his humor and mic skills make him a damn fine KJ. ReSurfaced opens at 5 p.m., with karaoke scheduled from 8-10 p.m.
After you knock out some tunes with Dawdy, head down to Old Louisville to visit art gallery Studio Post Office. Run by graphic designer and artist Matt Barnes, Studio Post Office focuses on lowbrow art and pop-centric imagery. On Friday, they’re throwing a group art show dedicated to Netflix’s summer surprise spooky hit “Stranger Things.”
Barnes spoke with Insider about the appeal of ’80s-centric “Stranger Things.”
“The show features a nonstop nostalgia feeling either through the pop culture references or the setting of being in a small town,” he says. “I grew up in a small town and remember a business that moved into our town … there were rumors of conspiracies happening there.”
Barnes says he created the exhibit because he’s hoping to publish a “fanzine” devoted to the show, and the event will help generate material and raise money for printing. The one-night-only show runs from 7-11 p.m.
Finish Friday off by stopping by Four Pegs, a great tap house in Germantown. Not everything in the world should be pumpkin flavored, but the rich autumnal sweetness is perfect for a fall evening, and beers take particularly well to the fall palate. Four Pegs is having a one-night Pumpkin Takeover of their taps featuring Avery Rumpkin, Schlafly Pumpkin, Anderson Valley Fall Hornin, New Holland Ichabod, Uinta Jack Be Nimble and Uinta Punk’n. Four Pegs will serve you pumpkin goodness until 2 a.m.
From noon-5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, you can take the young spawn down to trick-or-treat at “Nightmare in NuLu,” as a variety of the businesses with offer candy and discounts, as well as other shenanigans like face painting and pumpkin carving. NuLu festivities will extend into the evening, from 5 p.m. until whenever the last bar kicks you out.
Also in the Saturday sunshine, from 1-6 p.m., you can visit Dogtoberfest at Bluegrass Brewing Company in St. Matthews. Insider already covered that event in depth, but hey, it’s dogs in costumes and good food, all for one of my favorite causes, Saving Sunny pit bull rescue. So I can’t not mention it.
After dogs in costumes, you should head down to the Tim Faulkner Gallery in Portland to catch Portland Rising, a trio of spooky one-acts by local playwright Brian Walker, produced by Actors Workshop of Louisville. AWL is one of many organizations and artists that rent space at Faulkner, so it makes sense the art gallery/performance venue would include AWL in their third annual “Masquerade, Bella Muerta.”
Loosely based on actual events in Louisville, Walker adds ghoulish and gruesome twists to a Portland murder in the 1920s (“Torture House”), revenge on a rapist (“The Tale of a Stolen Penis”/”A Revenge Play”) and the 1969 riots at Fontaine Ferry (“Ghosts”/”A Race Play”). AWL founder Elias Feghaly directs “The Tale of a Stolen Penis,” and Louisville-based director Kathi E.B. Ellis directs “Torture House” and “Ghosts.” Curtian is at 8 p.m., and tickets are $12
Halloween at Haymarket Whiskey Bar will feature Brenda as The Pixies, Projector performing as Radiohead, and The Winger Brothers as the Dixie Chicks. It’s completely free, and the music starts at 9 p.m.
If that’s not enough music-based chicanery, you can check out the action at The New Vintage, with Searcy Bloody Sabbath, a Black Sabbath tribute band, and White Crosses, who’ll bring the Misfits back to life from 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
One last Saturday evening mention is The Back Door‘s annual Halloween Costume Contest, where first place takes a respectable $600. The contest starts at midnight and is free to participate and/or watch.
On Sunday, Oct. 30, go see “Sisters of the Moon” at KMAC. It’s free for Samhain’s sake, and while curator Joey Yates can give you lots of heady and cerebral reasons to check the show out, it’s also a great Halloween activity, with voodoo, wolf girls, owl people and tarot card readers. KMAC is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays.
Insider reached out to burlesque dancer, drag king and fire spinner Mx Artemesia, who told us Octo Claw’s Bizarre Bazaar is “throwing a haunted vaudeville show unlike any other. Our collective of drag kings and queens, burlesque babes, sideshow critters, fire artists, bellydancers and clowns brings a macabre and creepy take on the holiday.”
The fliers for the event, plastered in key locations all over Germantown, also promise “blood wrestling.”
You had me at “blood wrestling.”
However you celebrate, be sure to have a safe and rad Halloween.