This Halloween in South Seattle: Boo Bash, Dog Costume Contest, and Dance Parties

by Antonio Foster

Vampires, Mummies, pricey Disney licensed princess garments, inevitable tone-deaf cultural appropriation, and last minute costumes gathered from the dregs of closets. Add it up together and it means Halloween is here again.

In addition to door knocking for tooth corroding goodies, it also means fright fest taking place throughout South Seattle. Here’s a brief rundown of Halloween night events for ghouls young and old.


Event: Rainier Beach Boo Bash

Where: Rainier Beach Safeway (9269 Rainier Avenue South)

Time: 4pm to 7pm

Info: As you know, Boo Bash blew out the record books last year; it wasn’t just the 4,000 who attended, we also had all 4 local TV news stations, 2 radio stations, and our local online news outlets on hand. Both KOMO and KING TV declared Boo Bash as the “biggest free Halloween event in all of Seattle”. We are expecting at least 5,000 people!

But because it was soooooo crowded and high energy, it was a bit intimidating for the littler kids. So this year, we have a 2nd, smaller tent (30′ x 30′) for kids, with softer, quieter entertainment aimed towards kids 2-6, including local children’s book author JL Cheatam  storytelling, magician and balloon artist Ruben Barron, our fabulous singer and emcee Michael Cagle, DJ Smooth Tee, and face painting.

We have a giant, 40′ x 100′ tent, where we will have the main stage, a dance floor, DJ and live radio broadcast by Rainier Avenue Radio. We have tables inside the tents for some of our participating organizations. And we have dozens of canopies outside, with those fabulous “Trunk-or-Treat” vehicles. Derek Johnson is again doing professional portraits, we have mascots and celebrities and lots of fun things planned. The Thriller Dancers will perform at 5 PM and 6 PM, and a Blues Brothers’ cover band at 6:30.


Event: Hillman City Collaboratory Annual Dance Party

Where: Hillman City Collabortatory (5623 Rainier Avenue South)

Time: 5:30pm to 10:00pm

Info: We’re having our amazing annual Halloween Dress-Up and Dance Fundraiser with Costume Contest! This is our annual fall fundraiser for the indomitable Hillman City Collaboratory and our irreplaceable community and friends! By popular demand our extraordinary silent auction returns again, enjoy our cash bar, fantastic food truck, and the most eclectic and impressive array of dressed-up costumed dancers this side of Seattle. And OF COURSE we have Daddy-O Tarik Abdullah emceeing our one-of-a-kind, often-imitated-never-duplicated costume contest. Yeah, that mind-knowingly good Wild Thing costume WAS home-made with exceptional cardboard teeth and perfect turned-inside-out striped sweater…BUT YOU SHOULDA SEEN THE OCTOPUS! Turn on your wanna-be cosplay skills and come dressed up!  COME SUPPORT YOUR COLLAB! Coming, right? Oh YEAH.


Event: Halloween Taco Tuesday & Dog Costume Contest!

Where: Union Bar (5609 Rainier Avenue South)

Time: 4:00pm to 11:00pm

Info: Come spend Halloween with us at Union Bar!  +$3 Tacos +$2.25 Tecates +$7 Margaritas all night PLUS FREE CANDY! Bring your pooch in their best get up for our DOGGY COSTUME CONTEST hosted by Trivia Guru, Valerie Orrock. Our panel of judges includes Bar Owner David Richards, local regular and Manny’s Goddess, Terry Monaghan, and Union Bar Celebrity, Taylor Cox! Winner will receive a $25 Gift Card to All The Best Pet Care PLUS some boozy goodies!! Bianca will be behind the bar in true TACO spirit – Costumes are welcomed! Happy Halloween!!


Event: Beacon Hill Children’s Carnival

Where: Seattle Chinese Alliance Church (2803 S Orcas St, Seattle)

Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm

Info: Put on your favorite costume or come as you are and bring your family and friends and join our SCAC neighbors for a fun, free evening. There will be games, candy and a whole lot more! Please bring a non-perishable food item that will be donated to Dearborn Park International School. If you want to be part of the great team that puts the Carnival together go to:
– FREE admission
– Face Painting
– Candy
– Carnival Games
– Cotton Candy
If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Steve at


Event: 1st Annual 80’s Murder PROM at 9LB

Where: 9lb Hammer (6009 Airport Way S, Seattle, Washington 98108)

Time: 8:00pm to 2:00am

Info: Saturday October 28th is NOT Halloween!!!! That would be Tuesday. Lame…OR NOT!!! 9LB Hammer is hosting the 1st annual 80’s Murder Prom. Come dressed to the Nines…if you dare.


Event: Fright on 44th Main Street

Where: 5036 44th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118-2308, United States

Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm

Info: Main night is designed for tweens, teens, and adults. If your child scares easily, please do not bring them for the main night, attend kids night on Oct 29th. Free as always!


Event: Royal Esquire Open Mic Jam Session hosted by DeChelle Monet

Where: Royal Esquire Club (5016 Rainier Ave S)

Time: 8:30pm to 12:30am

Info: It’s a costume party y’all!! Our open mic jam session just happens to fall on Halloween and we’re adding a little more spice to this night. There will be cash prizes for best costume! Please join Seatown All-Stars and hostess DeChelle Monet October 31st @8:30pm. Costumes are not required, however, if you want to be in the running for $$$, please wear one. No masks at the door though. Lets make some beautiful music together and enjoy a night of fun, great food, drinks and a DJ as well. Bring your voices, instruments and dancing shoes!!! It’s a party! Donations accepted at the front door.


Event: King Tears Bat Trip / DoNormaal / The Baby Snakes play ZAPPA

Where: Columbia City Theater (4916 Rainier Ave S, Seattle)

Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Info: This is the only way to spend Halloween. King Tears Bat Trip – guitarist Luke Bergman’s four-drummer (Icasiano, Thomas Campbell, Kristian Garrard, Evan Woodle) free-jazz ensemble, with Neil Welch (tenor sax). DoNormaal – “The first thing you notice when you listen to DoNormaal, real name Christianne Karefa-Johnson, is the uniqueness of her voice: it slurs, falls, and bubbles out of her mouth like a water fountain. It’s simultaneously creepy and vulnerable, intimate and jarring, and her sing-songy hooks owe as much to Three 6 Mafia as they do to Nirvana.” (Jackson Howard, Vice). The Baby Snakes play ZAPPA – With unmitigated audacity, the legendary Queen Shmooquan poots forth a Jazz Noise all over Frank Zappa’s imperial mustache. The Queen, backed by a nine-piece band, pays homage to Zappa’s fabled Halloween shows of the 70’s and 80’s. Featuring arrangements by guitarist Simon Henneman and bassist John Seman. $18 adults, $16 Earshot members and seniors, $10 students and military



Event: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

Where: The Royal Room (5000 Rainier Ave S)

Time: 7:30pm to 10:30pm

Info: Doors at 6:00 PM. Featuring live performance by the Wayne Horvitz Ensemble. Score by Wayne Horvitz. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema, Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari tells the story of an insane hypnotist (Werner Krauss) who uses a somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) to commit murders. Written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer with direction by Robert Wiene, this classic horror film features a dark and twisted visual style, with sharp-pointed forms, oblique and curving lines, structures and landscapes that lean and twist in unusual angles, and shadows and streaks of light painted directly onto the sets.
Ray Larsen-Trumpet
Alex Guy-Violin
Beth Fleenor-Clarinet, Bs. Clarinet and Voice
Greg Sinibaldi- Baritone Sax and Bs. Clarinet
Wayne Horvitz-Piano
Geoff Harper-Bass
Eric Eagle-Drums
No cover. The musicians are compensated by your donations.


Event: Hallowe’en Horrors at Raconteur/Third Place Seward Park

Where: Third Place Books Seward Park (5041 Wilson Ave, Seattle, Washington 98118)

Time: 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Info: Had enough of trick or treaters? Remember how it felt when Hallowe’en was truly scary? Come get your own spooky treat! Grab a drink from Raconteur, sit back and enjoy Hallowe’en Horror stories at Third Place Books, Seward Park. It’s the perfect pre-function for that Hallowe’en Party – costumes welcome! Your humble haunted reader will be David Wright, emcee of the popular Thrilling Tales: Story Time for Grown Ups staged twice each month at the Central Library.

This reading will last about an hour. This event is open to all ages, though is not intended for younger children. Registration is not required. This event is free, although drinks and food are not. It will run for about one hour, so don’t be late! #booktoberfest #thirdplacebookssewardpark #seattlefamilyfun

Featured image by Jovelle Tamayo