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Ghoul Watching

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Everyone knows a friend or coworker who lives for this month. They cloak their cubicles in gauzy tangles of fake spider webs and booby trap their space with motion-activated gory gewgaws that sing, scream or spring into action to spook passersby.

They transform their homes and yards with orange and purple strung lights, intricately designed jack-o-lanterns and over-the-top theatrical props -- everything from witches and zombies to severed body parts and rats and ravens.

The Historic Irvington Halloween costume parade will begin at 4 p.m. and include people of all ages and good many decked-out dogs as well. The costumed cat contest was conducted via online submissions. - PHOTO BY JAMI STALL
  • Photo by Jami Stall
  • The Historic Irvington Halloween costume parade will begin at 4 p.m. and include people of all ages and good many decked-out dogs as well. The costumed cat contest was conducted via online submissions.

These Halloween enthusiasts decorate with the same fervor others reserve for Christmas. And it all leads up to the elaborate gatherings they'll host, because they want everyone to share in their fun.

Now imagine an entire community with that same eldritch energy.

That’s the scene in the Historic Irvington neighborhood five miles east of downtown Indy. Each year they organize the Historic Irvington Halloween Festival and invite the public to join in their love of all things Halloweenish.

Art imitates life (and death) for some participants of the costume contest, as last year an undead Frida Kahlo was joined by  Salvador Dali as her parade date.. - PHOTO BY JAMI STALL
  • Photo by Jami Stall
  • Art imitates life (and death) for some participants of the costume contest, as last year an undead Frida Kahlo was joined by Salvador Dali as her parade date.
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After 68 years of throwing this public party, they have it (their 69th) down pat. No detail has been left out in the weeklong extravaganza, which began last Saturday. Every day now through the 31st there’s some themed event or activity to celebrate the holiday. (For a complete listing of the 2015 schedule of events, visit http://www.irvingtonhalloween.com/events/.)

Tonight, for example, the Irving Theater, 5505 E. Washington St., will host a haunting flick at 8 p.m., and Black Acre Brewing Co., 5632 E. Washington St., will hold a “Horror Trivia Night” from 8-10 p.m. But the offerings cater to daytime events and ones for kids as well.

There are also a few fund-raising activities on the roster, such as Scary Thursday Jazz at the Coal Yard, 5547 Bonna Ave., a Zombie Bike Ride Friday evening, and then a Pleasant Run Run & Kids’ Run Saturday morning. Other activities so far have included a masquerade ball, spooky pipe organ performance, puppet show and roller derby bout, among many others.

But they save the best for last -- Saturday’s all-day street fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the annual costume parade, which will begin at 4 p.m.

This is no hokey Mayberry production, folks. We’re talking more than 230 vendors lining the streets with art, pottery, artisan foods, handmade crafts, boutique clothing, jewelry and accessories, as well as gift items galore. It’s a kid- and pet-friendly affair and everyone there, especially Irvington merchants, welcome guests to their yearly Halloween hoopla.

Visual artists, potters and jewelry-makers will be among the 230 vendors at Saturday's street fair. - PHOTO BY JAMI STALL
  • Photo by Jami Stall
  • Visual artists, potters and jewelry-makers will be among the 230 vendors at Saturday's street fair.

People will gear up themselves and their pets in their most artistically executed disguises (registration and judging runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Even if you don’t participate, it’s worth going to watch those who do (and to give kiddos one more chance to sport their getups).

With the event falling on the actual holiday this year, there’s no better way to kickstart the night of trick-or-treating and celebrating.

For more information, visit the Irvington Halloween Festival website. And previous guests will be relieved to learn that parking hassles of the past should be eased greatly as the Irvington Plaza at 6200 E. Washington St. will allow parking. Another option will be free bus shuttles to drop off visitors to and from the eastern end of the festival route.

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