Chicago Is Getting Its First Big Halloween Festival

By Emma G. Gallegos in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 4, 2015 8:00PM

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These kids rock (Photo by Bart Heird via the Chicagoist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

The city is getting its first Halloween festival around Museum Campus this year called "The Halloween Gathering."

Maybe it's too early to say, but it sounds like this festival will be arty and family-friendly more than an excuse for costumed debauchery in the streets, based on the sponsors alone.

On Oct. 24, the Chicago Cultural Mile Association will host the inaugural event. It kicks off with a festival in the afternoon and culminates in a parade traveling north on Columbus from Balboa to Monroe.

The hosts call Halloween an "artist's holiday," and a lot of the city's most prestigious arts and cultural organizations are getting involved, including the Field Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Columbia College Chicago and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.

From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the festival will have a mask-making booth, performances by local musicians a children's costume parade.. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the main parade will kick off, with promises of, "legions of lanterns, costumes, performances, music, dance, dramatic lighting, moving platforms and more."

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is also involved in the event, according to the Associated Press. Chicago Cultural Mile Association's president, J.R. Davis, said today he wants the festival to "become an iconic annual event."