Halloween in Austin


Ever since I was reborn into Pittsburgh with a new and younger attitude, I realized that Halloween was simply put the greatest thing to happen to 20-somethings and young parents alike. From the parental perspective, it’s one of the few events that involve your child that you can also participate in and not feel too gawked at. For example, while technically adults are allowed in the ball pit / tubes at Chuck E. Cheese, if you actually crawl inside of those tiny tubes you will both frighten the children inside as well as alert any nearby parents that you are likely incredibly creepy. I know, I’ve tried it. On multiple occasions.

Halloween, however, is embraced by everyone, young, old, the wholesome, the drunk – we all, for some reason, love to celebrate the giving away of candy and dressing up like whatever clever fantasy we can think of and covering our house in fake spiderwebs. It’s great!

Austin, thankfully, fully embraces this last day of October, and it’s evident as you walk the streets. At least half of the people are dressed up even in areas that don’t have some type of special event going on, and downtown, specifically 6th Street east of Congress Ave, is oozing with Halloween spirit, both of the spooky and alcoholic varieties. Thousands of people filled the street, which was blocked off to cars, and literally formed a massive makeshift parade. No organization involved, just legions of Batmans, Jokers, Marios, Luigis, ghosts, ghouls and goblins walking up and down the street, showing off their wares and enjoying the night’s festivities.

Tristan was going to be a vampire ninja, but the teeth he bought were way too big for his kid-sized mouth so he opted out of the vampire aspect, and just went as a ninja. At one point he mentioned that he was a superhero ninja because he stuck two sparkling stickers on his hands, but to be honest, I didn’t buy it. It takes more than sparkles to give your average ninja superhero status. Though, I’ll admit, he did have a cape as well. Hmmm.

I, myself, dressed up as the Mummy from Space. It basically involved me wrapping myself in rags, painting up my face like a mummy, and then wearing a space helmet. At times the costume looked more like an injured motorcyclist or a victim of a space shuttle disaster, but I think I pulled it off. I was extra-specially happy that Tristan and I also made our costumes this year, including a wicked slick set of nunchucks made from bamboo and baler twine.

On a sidenote, Austin has some interesting laws regarding the purchase of alcoholic beverages. First off, there is not smoking inside of bars, though many bars had smoke machines going off which seemed to defeat the entire point. Much more strangely, though, you can purchase 6-packs in convenience stores and grocery stores, but not in bars. You can only buy beer that you are going to drink at the bar, in the bar. I find this odd, and was scorned by the barmaid last night when I asked what the reasoning behind it seemed to be. Do not question your barmaid, ladies and goblinkind.