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Top 5 Gay
Halloween Destinations

Top 5 Gay
Halloween Destinations


Halloween hurtles onto the horizon once more, another fabulous opportunity to capsize conformity. This deliciously decadent holiday has a reputation for uninhibited mayhem and wild, sensual fun. It's an invigorating opportunity to escape daily drudgery, whether you want to be yourself or someone else.

Halloween revelry offers deliciously liberated holiday opportunities, but getting the right Halloween address, close to events, is vital -- unless you want to scurry through insalubrious streets bedecked in your boa. The best accommodations (and costumes) book up early, so plan ahead in creating your itinerary and organizing your outfit. Get dressed or undressed and join the garish and the gorgeous in these hot Halloween cities.

34th Halloween Parade New York City Oct. 31, 2007; 7-9 p.m.

KNOW: New York City's carnival started as a gay event with 150 people. The Halloween Parade is now the world's largest Halloween event, attracting nearly 2 million people.

WHERE: The parade careers up Sixth Avenue from Spring to 22nd streets, through Chelsea from the Village. Masks, headdresses, wigs and wings flood gay bars in Chelsea, the Village, West Fourth and Sixth.

DRESS: Anyone in costume is welcome to join in as seething seas of cross-dressers sway through the streets. It might all be good fun, but this is New York and it's competitive. Undercover agents award prizes for the best costumes, which are often pieces of performance art.

SCARY FUN: The best place to congregate is around Christopher Street and Seventh Avenue or in Washington Square Park near NYU.

PSST: It's a great time to flirt with cute straight boys from Long Island and Jersey who let their hair down and have no idea you are cruising them.

West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnival Los Angeles Oct. 31, 2007; 6 p.m.; 310-289-2525

KNOW: Twenty-five years ago, WeHo boys spilled out of bars, blocking Santa Monica Boulevard and stopping traffic in a spontaneous gathering of drag, costumes and bare bodies. It's evolved from one gay evening to an event swarming with people who come hundreds of miles from all around Southern California. Creative costumes used to outnumber spectators; now there are more people not in costume. Santa Monica Boulevard closes at 3 p.m. and vendors, radio stations, DJs, performers and hundreds of thousands of onlookers descend.

WHERE: The heart of West Hollywood; Santa Monica Boulevard between Sweetzer and Doheny; Robertson Boulevard between Santa Monica and Melrose Avenue and in many bars and restaurants along the way. Gay bars are packed; dancing and partying goes on until the early hours.

DRESS: Los Angeles' galaxy of entertainment-industry egos makes WeHo's Halloween super-competitive, often courtesy of real studio costumes. Picture 25 red, white and blue debutantes or a phalanx of gladiators plunging down Santa Monica Boulevard. Tacky, clever and the more over-the-top the better is the L.A. mantra. Mardi Gras-type garb, drag, military and minimal all star.

SCARY FUN: Here Bar, the Abbey, Rage, Ultra Suede, and Factory throb with life. More costumes shimmer in the clubs than on the streets. The crowd tends to be gayer at Here and the Abbey later in the evening.

PSST: To get the most out of the party, you need to dress up. Walk the boulevard, popping in and out of bars along the way (beware the prohibitive club cover charges). Allow extra time to make your way along the boulevard -- depending how good you look, it can take up to an hour per block, with suburbanites stopping you every five feet for photos.

Halloween 24 New Orleans, La. Oct. 25-28, 2007

KNOW: The 24th Halloween is a series of events benefiting Lazarus House, a home for men and women with HIV/AIDS whose families cannot take care of them.

WHERE: Head for the Bourbon Pub and Parade club. Bodies fill the venue and spill onto Bourbon Street from midday Thursday till the early hours of Monday.

DRESS: For the circuit party, originality is key -- it's about how creative you can get. Costumes are always over-the-top, from a 7-foot tall drag queen dressed as the Chiquita banana girl to an airport tower complete with lights.

SCARY FUN: The costume-obligatory Wild Kingdom Costume Dance Extravaganza (Oct. 27, 2007, The Sugar Mill, 10 p.m.-4 a.m.; $75) is the major event and the main reason to sashay down South this October. Don't even think about skipping the adornment.

PSST: This year's theme is "Wild Kingdom" -- so get in character and parade through the French Quarter to bask in attention before wading into the party's masses.

Fantasy Fest and Halloween Key West, Fla. Oct. 19-28, 2007; 305-296-1817

KNOW: A little bit of Mardi Gras, a little bit of Halloween and a lot of fun with Florida's finest.

WHERE: The bars and restaurants around Duval Street, between Eaton and South streets, see most fantasy action take place.

DRESS: A cacophony of opportunities to flaunt flamboyance occur from the Fantasy Street Fair to Captain Morgan's Parade.

SCARY FUN: Don't miss the parade of furred and feathered fashionistas at the Pets Masquerade Parade (Oct. 22; 1500 Reynolds St.) or the Masquerade March when a cavalcade of costumed characters career from Key West Cemetery through Old Town.

PSST: Unless you're bringing an entourage to carry your copious costume options, check party and parade themes before you go -- they're wild and wildly varied.

The Parade of the Lost Souls Vancouver, B.C. Oct. 27, 2007; 6-10 p.m.

KNOW: Vancouver's spooky goings-on are courtesy of the Public Dreams Society, which also lights up the East Side with July's Illuminares lantern festival.

WHERE: Grandview's public spaces are overrun by ghouls and costumed cavorters as this much-loved parade stomps through Vancouver's lesbian neighborhood once again, starting at William and Cotton.

DRESS: The Parade of Lost Souls sees costumed marchers, dancers and assorted chaotic and colorful characters carouse through Grandview's green spaces.

SCARY FUN: Frighteningly good fun is to be had at the annual BOO! Halloween Vancouver party (Oct. 27, 2007;, a popular fundraiser for the Vancouver Men's Chorus. Girls can sashay along to a Halloween party at Lick (Oct. 31, 2007;

PSST: To make the most of the night, reserve a table well in advance for one of the Drive's gay and lesbian-popular haunts, such as Havana or Stella's.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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