Halloween: A Gay High Holiday

Revelers at last year's Halloween celebration in West Hollywood; flikr/domasan1

Originally published in GPS.OutTraveler.com

There’s nothing like a pagan holiday to get the LGBT community all excited!

Halloween — with roots in a Celtic harvest festival — has distinct appeal for queer people. It’s primarily an adult holiday in urban settings. We can express our inner crazy, and society sanctions it. There is no seeing family or buying gifts involved. And if you’re lucky to live in a big city, there’s probably also an incredibly fun parade and party. There are often parties during the weekends before or after Halloween, but purists mark the day on October 31.

This year, consider traveling to one of our favorite Halloween destinations. Here are three we love along with a few highlights.

  • New York‘s 38th annual Village Halloween Parade kicks off at 7PM. You must be in costume to march. Looky-loos: Grab a viewing spot early as the small streets of the Village get packed quickly.
  • New Orleans, which is already scary fun, amps it up for Halloween. The historic French Quarter is where the action is all weekend, but especially on the big night (October 31). The Bourbon Pub & Parade offers pretty much non-stop parties from Thursday, October 28 through Sunday, Halloween.
  • West Hollywood‘s 23rd annual Halloween Costume Carnaval is expected to attract nearly a half million revelers to Santa Monica Blvd., attracted to the parade, crowds, costumes, and entertainment. Some have complained that there are more spectators than participants, but it’s difficult to top the sheer creativity of those in costume. This is after all the epicenter of the entertainment industry.

Las Vegas is not known for the scale of its Halloween celebrations like these other destinations, but we heard of the following offer and wanted to pass it along. The super gay-friendly Mandalay Bay is offering a “Till Death Do Us Part” special promotion, which includes a commitment ceremony in a themed haunted chapel!

Check out our Out guides to these destinations


Published by edsalvato

Educator, marketing, communications and travel safety expert; LGBTQ Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show; public speaker; expert panel organizer and moderator

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