Behind the backdrop of Judy’s Hand Pavilion, the Uptown “Upside Down” Halloween Bash truly was a graveyard smash. It’s around Halloween, and that means pumpkins, candy, costumes, and scary movies.
In an attempt to encapsulate that spirit of the spooky season, Uptown in the Circle, a community organization based around creating a vibrant neighborhood in University Circle, joined with Case Western Reserve University to create an event that would bring the community together and celebrate what makes Halloween so special.
Held in Toby’s Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 26, next to the large aforementioned hand sculpture near the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, the Halloween Bash festivities lasted from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
“I’ve always wanted to do a Halloween party,” said Angie Hetrick, owner of Axon Creative Agency and the event planner who worked with Uptown and CWRU to plan this party. “I thought of all the things I would want to do and mostly programmed it for students.”
From the Joker, to a banana suit, to Michael Myers, costumed University Circle residents celebrated with pumpkin carvings, free candy, fortune tellers, classic Halloween dance numbers and perennial horror movies in the background.
Heavy rain crammed the festivities into a tent that provided sufficient reprieve and warmth from the ghastly, yet seasonably appropriate weather. However, exclusively outdoor activities like a nine-hole mini-golf course had to be canceled.
Present, however, were many local affiliates and businesses, including local favorite Rascal House Pizza selling their pies, One to One Fitness Center leading fitness routines with pumpkins instead of weights, local squash expert Professor Patty Pumpkin managing the pumpkin carving while providing neat tricks along the way (apparently you’re supposed to cut a hole on the bottom?) and DJ Red-I mixing horror gems together into a fun dance night.
“The whole idea is to promote Uptown and spotlight its merchants, services and all the resources the community has to offer,” Hetrick added, “It’s important to build community. We can bring people together, students, residents, people visiting the neighborhood and show them what University Circle has to offer.”
While the heavy rain might’ve affected turnout and the overall vibe of the party, the tent was still very well packed, with the pumpkin carving supplies running out within the first 30 minutes and long lines for the candy and fortune-teller readings.
“The whole tarot reader and palm reader thing was cool, but there needed to be more of them because the lines were long and took up half the tent,” said first-year student Lydia Mandell, adding that “It was surprising that people came out despite the awful weather … [and] it was a fun little thing to go do.”
With University Circle still developing as a neighborhood, it’ll be interesting to see what other events and businesses come up with in the area as the Uptown organization strives to build an active community.
If such efforts like the Uptown Halloween Bash continue, perhaps a new center of culture and commerce can be developed in the city. With a larger community, we can only get more and more Halloween spirit in the future, so we can only hope.