October is my favorite month, because in New Orleans Halloween lasts the whole month. Houses are decked out with skeletons and ghouls from October 1st, and each weekend hosts some sort of costume themed ball or festival.
This year I attended the Mermaids and Mayhem Ball at Feret Street Publiq House the weekend before Halloween. You may be forgiven for mistakenly believing that attendees must be dressed as a mermaid or some interpretation of mayhem. New Orlineans generally interpret dress codes quite loosely – the only tightly held rule is that when its a costume party, you must be in a costume. One of my party, evidently not a New Orlinean, showed up in just jeans and a t-shirt. Fortunately, I was able to twist his t-shirt into a crop top, put some bright pink lipstick on his lips and a few lipstick marks on his stomach which made for a vaguely passable costume.
And of course, what is any celebration in New Orleans without a parade?! Krewe of Boo rolled on October 30th through the French Quarter.
Halloween fell on a Friday night this year. There was a multitude of events to choose from for the night. To name but a few: a True Detective themed house party, there was a Zombie Ball featuring Gabriel & Dresden, Galactic playing at Tipitina’s, and the Endless Night Vampire Ball at House of Blues, and the Vampire Lestat Fan Club’s annual Vampire Ball which was attended by Anne Rice this year (which I promise myself I will go to every year…next year, next year!).
Having a group of friends who had never experienced Halloween in New Orleans before, however, meant there was only one choice for us: Frenchmen Street. It becomes one big spectacular street party.
I wish I could give you more details about how the party went down this year, but alas I was too inebriated and remember very little. All I can say is that I woke up in my own bed, still in full Ginger Spice Zombie costume, with a bag safely containing not only my wallet and phone but also those of a number of friends, and a bruise on one knee and a graze on the other, and a few rather interesting texts and photos on my phone. There might have been a few hiccoughs along the way, but I think I had a good night – I only have good memories of it!
The weekend of Halloween is also host to a three day music festival: Voodoo Fest. I attended on Sunday, and had the pleasure of seeing John Butler Trio (a taste of ‘home’!), Trombone Shorty (finally playing back home!) and the awesomeness that is the Foo Fighters. At one point during their set, Dave Grohl invited Trombone Shorty on to the stage to play with them, and just as I was thinking ‘this is a moment I will never forget’, Dave Grohl said those exact words. This was definitely a Halloween I will remember forever.