A Halloween Spooktacular

The makings of a boohaha

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

If there’s one thing I really appreciate about Bellingham, it’s that we need very little excuse and almost no reason to gather in large numbers in celebratory fashion. Sun’s out? Throw a party. It’s St. Patrick’s Day? Throw a parade. It’s Thursday? Throw a concert.

It stands to reason then, that when we have a real, wholly sanctioned and encouraged occasion to really do it up, we let our freak flag fly. And riles up the City of Subdued Excitement quite like Halloween.

It makes almost no difference that Oct. 31 falls on a Tuesday this year, perhaps the day of the week that least lends itself to elaborate shenanigans. Per usual, Bellingham holds more entertainment delights than I can delineate here, so what follows is a Halloween highlight reel.

In the realm of Halloween traditions particular to Bellingham, three bands come to mind: Black Eyes and Neckties, Polecat, and Horror Business. Of those three, only Horror Business, the Misfits cover band that has donned the devilocks every year since before the Misfits were even a band (that might be a slight exaggeration), is playing a show. They’ll do so on Halloween proper, along with Cousin Marvin and Mount Saturn, at the Shakedown (1212 N. State St.), which will also be the site of a Monster Mash Classic Halloween Dance Party on Sat., Oct. 27 should your costume require a dry run.

Another tradition that has taken hold of Halloween—and it’s pretty much the best idea ever—is the Spooky Cover Show at Make.Shift (306 Flora St.). This year’s iteration has been dubbed “the Covering,” and happens over the course of two overstuffed nights, Fri. and Sat., Oct. 27-28, and by the time this epic event of musical madness ends, bands covering the likes of the Twin Peaks soundtrack (be still my beating heart), the Stranger Things soundtrack and score (I’m sensing a theme within a theme here), My Bloody Valentine, the Dead Milkmen, Rammstien (I can’t tell if I’m shocked someone is doing this or surprised it hasn’t already happened), and so much more. The all-ages venue will also host the “Night of Mischief” Mon., Oct. 30 featuring Isaac Rother and the Phantoms, Guillotine Eyes, and the aptly named Mummies cover band, the Crummies.

Some bands seem to turn up somewhere during every occasion that requires a party, and Baby Cakes definitely falls into that category. They’re throwing a Halloween Soiree on Fri., Oct. 27 at the Green Frog (1015 N. State St.), and if you want to know what an eight-piece band wears to headline a Halloween party, it would behoove you to buy your tickets before the show sells out. Because there’s nothing sadder than getting all dressed up, having somewhere to go and then not being able to get in. Not to be outdone, Whiskey River and Gin Gypsy are going to see Baby Cakes’ Soiree and raise them a Bash-o-Rama, taking place the following night at the Frog. Costumes are optional for this one, but you will be forced to have fun.

Boundary Bay Brewery (1107 Railroad Ave.) has gone all out for Halloween (and all other holidays and plenty of days that are not holidays) for as long as I can remember, and this year is no different. Once again, the brewery warehouse and beer garden will be transformed—on Oct. 27-28 and 31—into the Nightmare on Railroad, a haunted house staffed by and in support of Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth. But giving over half their square footage to a haunted house is not enough for holiday-happy Boundary, and so if you make your way there on Sat., Oct. 28, you’ll find a Halloween Jam with Deadly D and the Black Tones. You’ll want to make sure your costume accommodates dancing or else you’ll be sad and dressed up at the same time, which will make it difficult for anyone to take your angst seriously.

Normally, the Southside gets a little left out when it comes to Halloween parties, but thanks to Lovitt Restaurant (1114 Harris Ave.), Fairhaven will have a boohaha all its own on Oct. 31. The Atlantics will fill the expansive space with their brand of R&B, a sound that’s been a local music staple for more than 30 years. This particular party, dubbed “Booze and Boos” comes with a steeper price tag than most—$20—but proceeds aren’t going to line someone’s costume coffer, instead they’ll be donated to Northwest Youth Services. So you can costume for a cause and start November feeling virtuous as well, a little bit of freaky philanthropy very much in keeping with this spirited holiday.

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