The 24th Annual Haunted Halsted [St.] Halloween Parade went off without a hitch on the evening of October 31 with no rain, no blistering cold, lots of drag queens and grease paint, a little bit of fire, and an abundance of originality to spare. There was a hint of moisture in the air but it did not rain though there was an appropriate chill [which explains the lack of scantily clad parade entrants from previous years], but the Parade [which took a break last year due to Covid-19] went on as planned. This event, which has been called the culmination of “Gay Christmas” has evolved into a PG Rated family entertainment and something of a “must-see” as every year hundreds of spectators skip the usual All Hallows Eve traditions to meet at Halsted st. and Belmont Ave for a different kind of trick or treat.
This year there were celebrities [Matthew Rodrigues of Chicago Today on NBC 5 and Batty Davis of Lips Chicago], a rock and roll cover band which kept the awards segment moving with familiar hits [I Pop was the band], and $6,000 in prizes given away in the costume competitions. All of that was very nice [killer winners included a 10-year-old who was dressed or rather assembled as Optimus Prime from the Transformer movies and an entire family who came as the Shedd Aquarium] but the real fun was in the crowd with all the witty/funny/scary costumes and the participants in them.