Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Sober Halloween in New Orleans? Is that Even Possible??

Halloween is a big deal all over the United States, but there are a few cities that have a special association with the holiday, and New Orleans is certainly one of them. Those familiar with New Orleans know that we don't relegate our partying to specific days of the week, but when Halloween falls on a weekend, the city has a tendency to essentially explode with events and pulse with an undercurrent of potential and excitement. With Halloween falling on a Friday, this year was no exception. The question is: In a city so synonymous with professional revelry, lax open container laws, and unabashed alcoholism, how hard is it to find things to do that don't involve drinking? Follow along as my friend and I find out how much fun Halloween in New Orleans can possibly be without a single drink...


The festivities began Thursday night with the annual Krewe of Boo parade (because this is New Orleans and if enough people stand around long enough, a random parade will materialize out of thin air). In addition to throwing custom beads with flashing lights and signature Krewe of Boo plastic cups, riders also tossed packets of PJ's coffee, bags of special edition Krewe of Boo Chee-Wees (which I've discovered are far superior to Cheetos and should be sought out at every available opportunity), and, of course, pieces of candy. To be honest, though, the best part of most parades are not the throws, but the mobile artwork passing by:

Halloween inspired floats are always fun!
Skeletons on horseback, intricately adorned trikes, and spider carriages, OH MY!
My favorites are always the walking groups and steppers. Fun AND dedication!
I carved an Oogie Boogie pumpkin, because I'm a nerd.
Halloween night was spent carving pumpkins, handing out candy to trick or treaters, and sitting around a fire roasting marshmallows. It might sound boring to some, but I'm a fan of avoiding huge crowds of drunken college students covered in sticky, fake blood and fishnet stockings. It's also possible that I'm just an old, curmudgeon reveling in shaking my fists at all those damn kids on my lawn. The jury's still out on this one.

Stormtroopers have taken over the book store.
My new favorite local bookshop, Tubby & Coo's, was celebrating their grand opening all weekend, and we stopped in on Saturday to join in the fun. We spent some time with local authors (and friends), Tiger Chaplain and 'The' Rob Cerio, built a balloon airship with the folks from Steampunk New Orleans, and picked up some new releases. The boys of The Week in Geek on WGSO were also there, broadcasting live from the bookshop, so I hopped behind the mic for an impromptu edition of my 'She Blinded Me with Science' segment about the explosions of SpaceShip 2 and Anteres (check out the podcast for more info).

I <3 local authors!
Erin and I had a little too much fun with the helium tank...

Sunday was a special day. We attended a book signing with Anne Rice at the Garden District Bookshop for the newest (and long awaited) title from the acclaimed Vampire Chronicles, Prince Lestat. The turn out was predictably large, and we were among the last few people in line, but despite how obviously tired she was, Mrs. Anne stayed over an hour late in order to get to everyone (which was amazing as I may have cried if she left before we had a chance to reach the front of the line). You see, the first time I ever set foot in New Orleans was when I was still a teenager, back in 1996. I tagged along with my boyfriend and his mom to attend the Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club's Memnoch Ball. During the trip, she did a book signing at the Garden District Bookshop and I got my copy of The Vampire Lestat signed (I seriously thought I was hot shit after this trip; to my teenage mind it was fucking epic). Attending Sunday's book signing was a bit like coming full circle for me: Same bookshop, same author, same title character, 18 years later. It capped this year's Halloween weekend with some nostalgic vampire love, and proved once and for all that it is possible to have a blast in New Orleans without drinking. Who knew?!

...and because no Halloween post would be complete without costume pictures, I present to you the most kick ass kids' costumes I saw:

Ok, I didn't personally see the Superman one, but that was too brilliant not to share!
Happy Halloween, you dirty bastards!


  1. Did you seriously attend an Anne Rice signing in New Orleans?! That must have been so special! It sounds like you had an amazing time!

    1. I did! Twice! :) It was awesome both times!

  2. I would love to be in New Orleans for Halloween! The parade looks like a blast!