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First Annual HighBall Halloween Draws Over 10,000

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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Press Release wroteHighBall Halloween Out of the Box Smash!

From Carl Lagerfeld to the Pope, from a troupe of gay cereal box cartoon characters to a host of cartoon super heroes, the Short North’s HighBall Halloween: Masquerade on High more than met expectations as over 10,000 attendees packed into the District.

“It was a first year event,” explains John Angelo, Director of the Short North Business Association, producers of the event. “We had no idea what to expect. Based upon website hits, Facebook registrations and street buzz, we optimistically hoped for 5,000 – 7,500. We were stunned by the response.” When Mayor Michael B. Coleman took to the runway stage in the middle of High Street, he shouted to a jubilant crowd: “So do we want to have HighBall every year?!” The roar was deafening.

Evening highlights included a couture costume runway show with Project Runway contestants Kelli Martin and Terri Stevens, a spectacular drag performance including 5 costume changes by the incomparable Nina West, and an all-out costume contest that had the crowd shouting and cheering.

“We knew Columbus was ready for a masquerade of this caliber,” commented Charly Bauer, co-chair of the event’s development committee and co-owner of Jeni’s Ice Creams. “We had seen phenomenal successes in other cities such as Key West and San Francisco. We knew Columbus’ could compete. The creative community was strong enough to really make a splash and set the bar high immediately off the mark.”

Racelle Deavers, dressed as a punk rock nurse, was in from Dayton. “Wow!” She exclaimed. “I hope you do it again, because I want to work a lot harder on my costume next time.”

“We wanted to create an event that celebrated art, diversity and even fashion,” summarized Carmen Owens, event co-chair and co-owner of Surly Girl Saloon. “We didn’t want a mindless beerfest. We wanted to inspire, challenge and celebrate the creative class. We did that in spades.”

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  • Charly

    The winning costume couture:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3289/2992296013_fbef4a326c.jpg?v=0

    Lot’s of photos being added to flickr, including this set

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shortnorth/sets/72157608571647763/

    -Charly

  • Walker

    Yeah, the crowd went nuts for that one. I turned to Anne said “Yeah, sounds like we have a winner”. ;)

    I was really impressed with the level of professionalism that went into the whole fashion show. Just so awesome to see local designers showing off their creations. :D

  • JonMyers

    All the work that went into it showed and the Short North was cleaner than it was left. Nice execution.

  • Coremodels

    I’ve been extremely openly critical of “fashion shows” on this board in the past, and rarely participate, but this one was put together with real style and extremely well done. Was lots of fun, and I was really happy to participate.

  • CDS sherman

    wonderful time, too many people packed in to that stage area by warren. maybe centralize the stage next year farther up near union maybe…. but that might make things difficult for the bar traffic. still great event and a great time. glad it was a success and Nina was fierce as always.

  • JimSweeney

    awesome event! nice work all.

  • Walker

    CDS sherman wrotemaybe centralize the stage next year farther up near union maybe…. but that might make things difficult for the bar traffic.

    I’m thinking the area will probably grow next year to accommodate. High was only shut off from Hubbard to Buttles for the party, but I could easily see it doubling in size for next year.

  • CDS sherman

    Walker wrote

    CDS sherman wrotemaybe centralize the stage next year farther up near union maybe…. but that might make things difficult for the bar traffic.

    I’m thinking the area will probably grow next year to accommodate. High was only shut off from Hubbard to Buttles for the party, but I could easily see it doubling in size for next year.

    i hope it doubles in size for sure….. i know john has plans for expansion and those plans are solid now im sure after seeing the turn out. SNBA and all the volunteers turned that shit out!!!!

    the crowd was great, i was amazed at how many people i was able to run into and hang out with. a couple of them were hard to recognize but i figured it out…

  • CDS sherman

    also la fogata had the right idea with having a bar set up on their patio near the entrance. the 2 dollar tacos were a hit. not sure if the beer was meant to leave the patio but it was a relief for the long beer token lines in the street. next year will be even better.

  • Walker

    Press Grill was also selling burgers and hot dogs outside for $3 and $2 respectively. I was hoping more restaurants would be participating in that type of thing. It’s really cool to have them provide the food instead of getting the typical “fair food” type vendor carts to set up and sell corndogs and elephant ears like every single other festival. ;)

  • michaels14

    Bravo to the businesses, John Angelo, and everyone who helped make this event so hot. I still think Dawon had the best costume though!

  • Daz

    Jo and I had a lot of fun.

    Next time that I choose to go as an unpopular political figure, I will make sure that it is more obvious that I’m mocking him. I was outright cursed at. Those that got it, they laughed. Good times were had.

    My only criticism is that of the drink ticket lines being crazy long, but that’s expected… especially on the first year.

  • columbus native

    I thought it was a great use of the neighborhood and made high street feel oh so awesome. I envision this same thing happening to the short north for Comfest on High Street. I only hope that one day it’s possible and thiws may be the needed step.

  • Andrew Hall

    Is there a list of the designers who made the finals? We got there later than the show and I saw the name of someone I knew from way back in big letters on the screen and was curious.

    Really great event. Just superb. We especially appreciated that it was adult in the best of the word. I am glad it was a big success and so likely to repeat.

    Ten gallon chapeau to everyone involved.

    A.

  • Walker
  • putneyswope

    Andrew Hall wroteIs there a list of the designers who made the finals? We got there later than the show and I saw the name of someone I knew from way back in big letters on the screen and was curious.

    Really great event. Just superb. We especially appreciated that it was adult in the best of the word. I am glad it was a big success and so likely to repeat.

    Ten gallon chapeau to everyone involved.

    A.

    The 10 designers in (I believe) finalized order of the show:

    Kelli Martin

    Huevan Cox

    Barb Wallace

    Akira Burgess

    Kevin Kerr

    Jennifer Carlson

    Annika Simmons

    Larrisa Boiwka

    Esther Myong Chung

    Terri Stevens

  • honavery

    I was unable to attend this year, but it looks like a great time! Glad it was so successful. To be honest, I can’t believe they didn’t do anything like this till this year.

  • DawonHawkins

    Lots of great costumes, a really fun atmosphere. For the first event of this kind, you would have never known! People turned out from all over the city and got into the “spirit” of things. Koodos to the Short North team for pulling off, what I and many hope to be, an excellent outdoor tradition in Columbus!

  • Andrew Hall

    putneyswope wrote The 10 designers in (I believe) finalized order of the show:

    Thanks!

    Confirms it was that person which is really awesome. Haven’t seen them in years though.

    A.

  • Larissa

    Andrew Hall wrote

    Thanks!

    Confirms it was that person which is really awesome. Haven’t seen them in years though.

    A.

    :::jaw dropping:::

    Hey!!! Andrew!!!

    Are you and Elena still in in town?

  • Larissa

    I’ve thought for years that Columbus had a bit of a void when it came to Halloween events. Highball was a wonderful, much needed alternative to the usual list of college parties and fetish events!

    After a tense week of dealing with numerous sewing related disasters on my end, I was so pleased with how well things went behind the scenes of the fashion show! I seriously couldn’t stop smiling. Thanks to everyone involved for making it an enjoyable experience! Well played Columbus!

    L.

  • Andrew Hall

    Larissa wrote

    Andrew Hall wrote

    Thanks!

    Confirms it was that person which is really awesome. Haven’t seen them in years though.

    A.

    :::jaw dropping:::

    Hey!!! Andrew!!!

    Are you and Elena still in in town?

    Our collective jaws dropped even more when we saw your name up there.

    Yep. Back from NOLA in 2000. PM me.

    A.

  • Tigertree

    I am disappointed I missed this. I hate halloween so I wasn’t really into this idea, but the pictures and reviews have me wanting to start working on my costume for next year.

  • Walker

    Tigertree wroteI am disappointed I missed this. I hate halloween so I wasn’t really into this idea, but the pictures and reviews have me wanting to start working on my costume for next year.

    Glad to hear it. I’ve heard similar comments from some other self-proclaimed “Halloween Grinches”. ;)

  • Charly

    Tigertree wroteI am disappointed I missed this. I hate halloween so I wasn’t really into this idea, but the pictures and reviews have me wanting to start working on my costume for next year.

    Start working on those duds now, next year’s going to be big.

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3141/2996713432_c78ea75f6e_m.jpg

    C

  • Tigertree

    Well I am married, I can’t really hold my liquor and I don’t have a kid. Kind of halloween no-mans land. But I think I feel like little-foot, and I’ve just found the valley.

    That was his name right? I don’t feel like googling.

  • enzo

    I love Halloween SO much, especially after this year. Maybe I just love wearing costumes and so does everyone else so we should have costume parties once per month!!

  • Mercurius

    enzo wroteI love Halloween SO much, especially after this year. Maybe I just love wearing costumes and so does everyone else so we should have costume parties once per month!!

    You should be friends with Cyclist then.

  • enzo

    Does Cyclist have costume parties on a semi-regular basis? Maybe I will see if Scott Litch will do a costume party every now and then at Bristol-Disguises & Debauchery.

  • Mercurius

    enzo wroteDoes Cyclist have costume parties on a semi-regular basis? Maybe I will see if Scott Litch will do a costume party every now and then at Bristol-Disguises & Debauchery.

    Yeah, he does but somehow I don’t think Scott and Zach will see eye to eye on music.

  • enzo

    Oh.

  • blammo

    Scott’s into Zeppelin, right?

  • Daz

    Tigertree wroteWell I am married, I can’t really hold my liquor and I don’t have a kid. Kind of halloween no-mans land. But I think I feel like little-foot, and I’ve just found the valley.

    That was his name right? I don’t feel like googling.

    Yes, that was his name, and it was the Great Valley.

    I have three MUCH younger siblings. That’s all I can really say about that.

  • Larissa

    enzo wroteI love Halloween SO much, especially after this year. Maybe I just love wearing costumes and so does everyone else so we should have costume parties once per month!!

    Or at least quarterly!

    I know a friend who has a regular “Church Revival Party”. The idea is to come dressed as a religious leader or deity and bring a Sunday casserole dish. Nothing like seeing Jim Baker, Kali, and Jesus drinking whiskey and smoking together.

    :lol:

  • Walker

  • cowtvprod

    Short North Halloween 2008 – Oh… my… God! This partaay was HUGE! Shutting down High Street in the Short North – placing a stage in the middle of everything on High St. – wine, beer, mixed drinks, freaky… fun people… and just – TONS OF PEOPLE IN COSTUME HAVING A BLAST!

    Too much eye candy and mental floss to comprehend! AND THIS WAS JUST THE FIRST ONE! Oh my… what happens next year?

    CowTV experienced this “First Annual” event and now brings you highlights from it – there was just too much for us to handle! A fashion show started the evening with INCREDIBLE, designer-made, creative fashions/costumes. Next came the series of costume contests beginning with celebrity-(ish) look-alike costumes, then there was the competition for “group” entries. Oh yeah – even the Mayor was there to kick it all off! Was he dressed as Lando Calrissian from Star Wars, or was that just him???? So, the event got his “blessing” and just got better as the night progressed.

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