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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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