By Benny Cartwright
While Halloween falls on Thursday, Oct. 31, the big celebrations in Hillcrest and surrounding areas typically take place this weekend. Many of Hillcrest’s bars, nightclubs, and diners will host Halloween parties and costume competitions, with the main event being the Nightmare on Normal Street Block Party on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Hillcrest Pride Flag. I’ve compiled some of the biggest Halloween costume contests happening around the neighborhood (and some beyond!) so that you can show off your costume or just go to gawk at all of the amazing costumes that our community comes up with!
Saturday, Oct. 26 events:
Halloween MASSIVE at Rich’s
The biggest costume contest in the area will be at Rich’s San Diego’s Halloween MASSIVE party. Rich’s goes all out for Halloween with a massive indoor/outdoor party, three dance floors, live entertainment, headlining DJs, and after-hours until 4 am! The contest begins at midnight, with a $2,500 prize! More info here: http://bit.ly/2MC78lL.
Nightmare on Normal Street
Nightmare on Normal Street is a huge neighborhood block party under the Hillcrest Pride Flag, featuring food, drinks, music and dancing, entertainment, and more! The huge costume contest begins at 9 p.m., with a $2,000 shopping spree prize package! The event benefits the San Diego LGBT Community Center and the community beautification projects of the Hillcrest Business Association. More info here: http://bit.ly/2J9Qwje.
Spooky Pre-Halloween Bash & Costume Contest at Uptown Tavern
Uptown Tavern will host a fun and “spooky” pre-Halloween Bash & Costume Contest! Participants will compete for a $1,000 cash prize going to first place, $250 cash for the runner up, and a $100 Uptown Tavern gift card for third place. The party goes from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. More info here: http://bit.ly/2MZsB73.
Maybe you didn’t fare so well in the costume contest at Nightmare on Normal Street and want to try again in another competition? Urban MO’s has got your back! They’ll be hosting a costume contest at 11 p.m., with signups beginning at 10 p.m. Participants have the chance at getting their hands on $700 in cash and prizes if they’re successful! More info here: http://bit.ly/33Pr4Ht.
Halloween Havana Nights Party at #1 Fifth Avenue
There’s always something fun going on at #1 Fifth Avenue, especially the popular monthly Havana Nights event. This month, not only will you get to dance to the sounds of Manny Cepedra and his orchestra, there will be a costume contest at midnight with cash prizes! More info here: http://bit.ly/2pHqhtm.
Halloween costume contest at Flicks
Flicks is definitely a Saturday night hotspot and is sure to be packed with all kinds of great costumed revelers on Halloween Saturday. DJ Will Z will provide the great tunes, and there will be a costume contest featuring $250 to the first-prize winner, $100 to second place, and $50 to third place. More info here: http://bit.ly/2Jakq6S.
Hillcrest’s 1st Costume Contest at Baja Betty’s
Right across the street the Nightmare on Normal Street festivities, sits Baja Betty’s, which will host “Hillcrest’s 1st Costume Contest” just before the contest across the street — and this contest is high tech! Participants will get their photos taken between 7-9 p.m. at Baja Betty’s, with online voting happening for the following five days, and the winners announced on Thursday, Oct. 31. There will be more than $1,000 in cash and prizes handed out to the winner(s). Visit bajabettyssd.com for more information.
Saturday nights are always packed at The Rail for the popular Sabados en Fuego Latin night, and it will definitely be another place to be Saturday night! Along with the usual dancing, drinks, and great music, there will be a costume contest with cash and prizes. More information is available here: http://bit.ly/2pHqtsA.
While this list is not conclusive, it gives a good sampling of the many options the community has to celebrate Halloween Saturday … and once this weekend comes and goes, Halloween hasn’t even happened yet! Most local bars and nightclubs will again celebrate Halloween on the holiday, Oct. 31 — giving you the opportunity to show off your costume again or have a second one. Wherever and however you choose to celebrate, please be safe, and most importantly, have fun! Happy Halloween!