Vell, another year is being laid to rest. It is time to say R.I.P. to 2016. As a result, this is my Year in Review that once again includes some of the most memorably macabre moments and important individuals that have ghoulishly graced my afterlife in 2016. Keep reading below for a month-by-month recap of select events.
The year started vith the 81st Boo-Day celebration for The King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley! Ve partied at Mother's with a show full of Elvis tribute artists and a peanut butter and banana sandvich buffet, and cake too! Then to keep the vinter blues avay ve attended the 2016 Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show and dreamt about summer days ahead.
The second month of the year included some car coverage of the 108th Chicago Auto Show. On Valentine's Day veekend Halloveen came early vith a visit to Aurora's famed Basement of the Dead Haunted House for their Alice in Wonderland themed "blackout" event vith only lighted roses to guide our vay. Last but not least, ve celebrated the Year of the Monkey at a Chinese New Year celebration at DePaul University which included dead-licious food and a fang-tastic show!
C2E2 showed up in March this year and ve met up vith friends, fiends and celebs ghoul-lore! Ve chatted vith our ol pal, WWE star The Honky Tonk Man, met Edward James Olmos, Austin St. John (Red Power Ranger) and had a nerdy good time. Ve also took a side trip to Waukegan's Genesee Theatre to catch Thelma "Mama" Harper herself, Vicki Lawrence for an evening of song and comedy.
Music and movies started off Countess' Boo-Day month right vhen ve attended the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest). It was a veekend of film showings and parties, including the celebration of BAADASSSSS Award vinner Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films. Ve had adult fun at the Humpfest Film Festival and consumed massive quantities of pork at Baconfest Chicago, vhich even had its own protest haha. Had to hide under the blankets at the Quilt Show in Rosemont, IL! The month ended up on a crafty note at the first ever One of a Kind Spring Show vhere ve nibbled tasty bites and checked out artsy stuff.
May vas a month full of food and fun. It all kicked off at the James Beard Foundation Awards and Gala vhere Count Gregula's Crypt was on the red carpet talking to gourmet celebs like Bob Mariano of Mariano’s Fresh Markets, Chef Rick Bayless and the Travel Channel's very own Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods. Even Da Mayor Rahm Emanuel vas in attendance and a delicious time vas had by all. Ve also checked out the Chicago Critics Film Festival and stalked zombies at the Walker Stalker convention in Rosemont. The highlight of the month, if not the year vas the National Restaurant Association show at McCormick Place. Four days of exploring restaurant equipment, tasting all kinds of food and drink and meeting more celebs like restauranteur Billy Dec!
As ve slid into the varmer time of year ve attended the Chicago Nightlife Awards and the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series at Navy Pier, first time ever on fresh water. Ve were also invited to check out a new entertainment place imported from London, England called AceBounce. it was so much fun to play ping pong while drinking delicious Libations and eating tasty foods.
July vas summer convention month that included Anime Midwest and EXXXOTICA Expo Chicago happening simultaneously over the same vicked veekend. Nerds and pervs in the same hotel! Oh, my! It vas hard to tell the difference between the two groups. Hahaha! Many concerts happened for us this month including Elle King, KONGOS and Billy Idol at Taste of Chicago and took in The Last Shadow Puppets at the House of Blues Chicago for a Lollapalooza aftershow.
Wizard World Comic Con Chicago flew into town and brought the increasingly popular Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival along again for ghoul measure. My interviews included Ralph Macchio of The Karate Kid fame and Ray Santiago of Ash vs Evil Dead. Plus, Team Gregula screened several horror films at the BCHFF and met directors Fede Alvarez and Fred Dekker along vith actors Andre Gower, Ryan Lambert, Steven Lang and William Sadler to name a few.
This month brought us over to Riot Fest for concerts by Fitz and The Tantrums, Rob Zombie, The Misfits and Morissey. My Boo-Day celebrations on September 30th kicked off early Halloveen happenings over at our annual daytime trip to Bengtson's Pumpkin Farm and then an evening excursion to House of Torment Chicago Haunted House.
Team Gregula's favorite month of the year vas packed full of frights. There vere many haunts to tour from traditional ones like 13th Floor Haunted House and Evil Intentions Haunted House to community haunts like Hair Razor Haunted Scenes to new ones such as Fables Fright Nights and HellsGate Haunted House. Our customary trip to Six Flags Fright Fest vas included. The macabre month ended vith Count & Countess (dressed as their skeleton relatives) marching in the annual Northhalsted Halloween Parade!
Team Gregula enjoyed covering SOFA CHICAGO again at Navy Pier vith their sin-sational sculptures. The Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) vas held right before Fangs-giving as usual and ve celebrated play vith the inventors that created the timeless toys at playCHIC and the TAGIE Awards. Days of the Dead vas of corpse the same terror turkey veekend so ve headed over to Schaumburg to join the Horror Party. Ghoulish guests this year of fear included Alice Cooper, Bill Moseley, Sid Haig and many macabre more in eerie entertainment.
The last month of 2016 vas full of parties and people! At the beginning of December, Team Gregula vas invited to another room escape called Vault Escape that tested our combined skills at trying to solve puzzles in order to get out of their Inheritance room. Ve just missed escaping by a couple seconds! D'oh! Ve then covered the One of a Kind Holiday Show for Cryptmas gift ideas. For fun, Countess & I vere invited to several parties vith our fiends (Steve's house gathering, Beethoven's 246th Boo-Day, Jessica's gift exchange party, the ChicagoNow Holiday Blathering and Aunt Donna's annual party on Christmas Day). Team Gregula also enjoyed the opportunity to drink and review another slurping show called "Happy Holly-Daze: A Drinking Game Performance" at the Cornservatory. To top off the merry month, ve made our annual trip to Lincoln Park Zoo for ZooLights to see the lights, visit Santa and to lurk at Figor's bat relatives.
NOTE: This is a condensed compilation of the very beast from a long year of interesting events and hip happenings. Special FANGS once again to Team Gregula (Countess Gregula, Grim Marco and Cousin Jessi) for all the helping claws.
Be vell, take scare and stay ghoul in the new year. Happy 2017!
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