Metro Weekly

Halloween Happenings

Your guide to gay Halloween nightlife in D.C.

Halloween at Town Danceboutique - Photo: Ward Morrison
Halloween at Town Danceboutique – Photo: Ward Morrison

Halloween is in full swing, peaking with costume contests at nearly every bar in town this Saturday, Oct. 31. And because Daylight Savings ends at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, you get an extra hour of horrific fun everywhere you go.

Before it hosts the first Leather Sabbat, with a costume contest at midnight Saturday, the DC Eagle is christening the weekend tonight, Oct. 29, with a “pumpkin slaughter, massacring and seed roast” at 8 p.m. HighwaymenTNT and Potomac MC host the carving contest, offering prizes for best Goring and Carving, at 12:30 a.m.

A handful of venues are hosting two nights of spooky fun starting Friday night. Town Danceboutique‘s two-night spooktacular is full of drag queens, DJs and costumed patrons, starting with an 18-and-over “Freaky Friday” CTRL party featuring DJs Wess and BacK2bACk and a contest netting $500 for best costume and $250 for second place starting at midnight. Saturday night is GhostTown featuring music by DJs Ed Bailey and Wess and a costume contest offering $1,000 grand prize, $250 for second and $100 for third.

Green Lantern is offering CaBOOret, its 11th Annual “Not Another Drag Show” fundraiser featuring employees in drag starting at 10 p.m and benefiting the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington’s GenOUT program. On Saturday night, the Lantern hosts a Zombie Superheroes party, presented by Skin Tight USA, which will even rent “super-suits” for $8 for the night. DJ Darryl Strickland, drag queen Stormy Vain and a Midnight Mega Costume Contest with over $800 in prizes are all part of the extravaganza starting at 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, Cobalt kicks off its two-day shebang with a Belvedere Vodka Open Bar and DJ Madscience doing some mad-mixing Friday night, followed by a $1,000 costume contest with DJs Mimi Imfurst and Vince Christopher spinning for a Saturday night Monster Mash theme. DC9 is hosting two screen-inspired parties: Friday night’s edition of the weekly Discnotheque party — featuring DJs Sean Morris, Bill Spieler and special guest Jeff Hancock — revolves around a Children of the Corn theme with $500 in prizes for best costumes; and Saturday night’s Liberation Dance Party offers “40 Years of SNL Nightmares” featuring DJs Bill Spieler and Shannon Stewart and another $500 in costume prizes. Further afield in Maryland, there’s The Lodge Lounge + Dance Club in Boonsboro, near Hagerstown. The venue offers a weekend inspired by American Horror Story, with a “Through The Seasons” drag show Friday night and “The Cabin in the Woods” Halloween costume contest with over $500 in cash and prizes on Saturday.

Cobalt Halloween - Photo: Ward Morrison
Cobalt Halloween – Photo: Ward Morrison

On Saturday night, two drag-centric venues are employing a Nightmare theme: Ziegfeld’s/Secrets offers a “Nightmare on Half Street” with $500 in prizes for a costume contest, while Freddie’s Beach Bar presents a “Nightmare on Twenty Third Street,” with a costume contest at 10 p.m. offering $100 for first place, $50 Freddie’s gift card for second and Sunday Brunch for two for third.

Also on Saturday, Nellie’s Sports Bar offers $250 in cash for first prize, a $100 bar tab for second and a $50 bar tab for third, Number Nine features a contest emceed by Matt Gillette starting at midnight and offering $500 for best costume, and JR.’s will offer $200 best costume at 11 p.m. Finally, Duplex Diner honors that evening’s Miss Adams Morgan drag pageant with a “before, during and after party” starting at 6 p.m. with costumes encouraged — “but no points for being Kim Davis!”

For more info on these and other area gay bars, visit

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