Fun at Wicked Manors Halloween Block Party
Despite a fickle on again off again rain shower, costumed revelers flocked to Wilton Drive on Halloween to participate in the second annual Wicked Manors Block Party.
Platinum Street Festivals, a Wilton Manors-based company that promotes businesses and events in the city, produced the event that drew nearly 20,000 people to the 1.5 mile stretch of Wilton Drive running from Fort Lauderdale High School to the Five Corners section of the city.
Last year’s event also faced some uncooperative weather. Lingering effects from Tropical Storm Noel, which passed through the Caribbean, dumped rain on the area and threatened to shut down the festival’s first year, but nearly 10,000 partygoers still came out to participate.
"It was an absolute success even with the tropical storm that came through," said Marc Victor, marketing director of Platinum Street Festivals and owner of the Marc Victor Group, a marketing and promotions business. "It’s the only gay venue in Broward County on Halloween that is free and open to the public. Everybody talked about it all year so we decided to make it annual."
This year, the organization spent nearly $26,000 to shut down the busy thoroughfare from 7 p.m. until midnight. The theme for the event was, "The Silver Scream," a nod to classic horror films.
Getting down to the strip early was the name of the game, particularly since most available parking was full within the first hour and nearly every nearby business lot or residential street was closed to the public.
But sparse parking didn’t deter people from coming out.
One costumed attendee, who on Halloween wanted to be known as "Marsha, Queen of the Black Fairies," ?- dressed appropriately in all-black garb and make-up- said she traveled from Boca Raton and brought along her friends from North Miami and Southwest Broward for some all-night partying.
"We’re here to hang out with my brother and it’s been a lot of fun," she said. "There’s been a lot of originality. It’s amazing."
Costumes ranged from the typical vampire, witch, nurse and police officer outfits to the more creative and elaborate, like a group of Teletubbies and a Jewish nun.
Many costumes kept with the theme of this year’s presidential election, with a few Sarah Palins and Joe the Plumbers spotted among the crowd and even someone dressed as a voting booth.
In addition to three bars that were set up at various spots along Wilton Drive and the restaurant vendors, there were plenty of festivities to keep everyone entertained.
For kids and adults who couldn’t let go of their childhood memories of knocking door to door for candy, there was trick-or-treating earlier in the evening with local merchants handing out goodies and coupons.
There was also music from South Florida DJ Scott Mann and live entertainment with the hostess and Lips drag queen, Miss Misty Eyez, and comedic MC, Tedd Marefka.
Particularly brave and creative types entered a costume contest, where they competed for various prizes. There were various categories, even one for pets, drag queens, celebrity look-a-likes and "best wig."