Whistler does Halloween in a big way: the Tapley's Farm neighbourhood is transformed into a trick-or-treating paradise for all the kiddies, the Re-Use It Centre becomes costume central, and the Heavy Hitting crew holds it down with the annual B-Grade Horror Fest.
And then, of course, there are the parties. Oh, the parties. Unfortunately, the GLC has had to cancel their infamous annual bash (they're renovating), but there are still plenty of others to pick from.
So, why is Halloween such a big deal here in Whistler? It was Greg Britnell, owner and operator of Moe Joe's, who explained it best:
"First, timing - with the transient nature of Whistler's seasonal residents, Halloween falls at the very beginning of a six-month-long party! By this time a good number of the town's seasonal employees have arrived, secured employment, found accommodations and met a bunch of new people with whom they will party for the next six months," he said. "Halloween is the first real celebration of the winter season.
"First timers - Halloween, or at least the Halloween that we know and love, is not celebrated in every region of the world. Many 'fresh off the boat' Australians and Brits are popping their proverbial Halloween cherries. They have every reason to be as excited as they are. Halloween in Canada rocks! It's a continent-wide costume party, where indulgence is the focus."
And last but not least...
"It's Whistler, baby! Despite Tourism Whistler's attempt to market everything else, Whistler is a place to party! It's not just Halloween. It's St. Patrick's Day, it's Canada Day, it's Martin Luther King Day, it's Australia Day, It's St. Jean Baptiste Day, it's Labour Day; it's pretty much any day ending in a 'Y.' We don't need another reason to party. So when you give us one, look out!"
So, without further adieu, let's check out the Sea to Sky's party plans for the weekend:
Friday, Oct. 29
The Bass Coast crew is back and better than ever, kicking the weekend full of activities off with their annual bash on Friday night. Their party, dubbed Bloodlust: Vampire vs. Slayer, will feature two main stages (the TeePee and The Lair), two bars, The Horror House Theatre and the Meats & Sweets Shack. The musical lineup features the Bounce Brigade, Max Ulis, Hoola, Funk Hunters, Funginears, Lorne B, Kori K, The Librarian, Mandai and an assortment of Squamish DJs. The location of this 19+ party hasn't been announced yet, but tickets are $35 at Trinity Romance in Squamish and Fanatyk Co in Whistler. For more info, check out www.basscoastproject.com.
Saturday, Oct. 30
So, it kind of goes without saying that the B-Grade Horror Fest at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is the hottest ticket in town tonight. If you aren't one of the 1,000 people who bought a ticket to the popular annual short film festival already, well, you may have to sell your soul to get in the door (and even then you'll have a pretty hard time).
But there are a few other creepy soirees going down on All Hallow's Eve-eve that will help you get into the spirit.
A few local hotspots (Garfinkel's, Maxx Fish and Buffalo Bill's) seem to be hosting parties on both Saturday and Sunday night, and they'll all be dressed to the nines as haunted houses, so prepare to get spooked!
The Maxx Fish Massacre is going down on both nights - Saturday and Sunday - with the Freshest Crew and Jelo laying down the soundtrack to two seriously spooky evenings. Plus, they'll have a $500 prize for best costume, both nights. Throw in some candy for the early birds and a fully decorated room, and you have quite the little party.
Outside of Whistler, the Pemberton Hotel is playing host to DJ Rich-A's Child's Play Halloween party, which features everyone's favourite possessed doll, Chucky! Possessed by means of voodoo magic by serial killer Charles Lee Ray, the notorious Lakeshore Strangler, Chucky chases after a boy named Andy Barclay because Andy was the first person he told his real name to as a doll. Who knows? Tonight, maybe you'll be the new Andy. The party starts at 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 31
Moe Joe's will be decked out and filled with glowing ghosts, goblins and ghouls tonight as they host Glow Ghosts 'n Stuff, a spin-off of their wildly popular weekly Sunday Night Glow party. Resident DJ Ckrs Brwn will be joined by DJ Metal for a special 2 x 4 set, so expect some killer electro mash-ups and some dirty dubstep added into Brwn's usual seamless mix of all things heavy and electronic. Cover is free before 10 p.m., and $5 and up after that. Of course, there's a prize in store for the best costume, so come dressed to impress.
The Solartribe crew is back, and things are looking bigger and better than ever with their sixth annual Halloween party, Monster Massive VI. This year, Bacardi has come on board as a sponsor and organizers have moved the event into a new venue: Garfinkel's. This party is a sold-out affair every year, and it's pretty easy to see why: it features an incredible roster of DJs spinning electro, dubstep, and drum 'n' bass (the lineup features Ffattman, Deadly, Miss KosmiK, Surgeon, Tone, Phroh, GenreWhore, Def'Nit, Stevie James and many more), great prizes from Hempire, games and some crazy costumed fun. Costumes, by the way, are mandatory; show up without one, and you aren't getting in the door. Plus, there's an epic after party. Tickets were $15 before Oct. 25, but late bookers will be paying $25. Get yours at Hempire.
Or, if bass-heavy isn't your style, dust off that gown and tux and bust out the fake blood: Tommy Africa's is going back in time, all the way back to high school tonight, as they host a Zombie Prom! DJs JPod, Stickybuds and Adam Bomb provide the soundtrack - everything from bangin' booty bass to funky breakbeats. This Smirnoff-sponsored party features crazy decorations, games and killer prizes. People can come in any costume they choose, but a $100 cash prize will go to the best dressed Zombie Prom King and Queen. Mix some scary drink specials, bloody go-go dancers and eerie surprises into this witches brew and you have one spooktacular evening of fun. The first 150 tickets are $15, and they're available at Evolution and Tommy Africa's. If you wait, you'll pay $20 at the door.
Anyone who wants to listen to live music should head to Roland's Pub to partake in Papa Josh's Creekside Halloween; an evening of live, heavy-hitting funk from the boogie man himself. There's no cover before 11 p.m.; after 11 it's $5.