I don’t recall ever spending Halloween in the Loop, as I have always celebrated in Boystown. I wanted to do something different after seeing ads about Arts in the Dark. I ended up being downtown most of the weekend and experienced a fang-tastic time. I had three goals — eat, drink, and be scared.
Parade fan for life
I eagerly anticipated the LUMA8 Arts in the Dark parade like a kid waiting for treats. The two-hour extravaganza on iconic State Street exceeded my expectations. It was thrilling to get up close and personal with Freddy and Pennywise. I especially loved the dazzling costumes, marching bands, and fire performers. It was also enjoyable to see spectators of all ages be so engaged.
I drank some phenomenal brews perfect for late October patio season. The first one was at Kasey’s Tavern before the parade. Bourbon Barrel-Aged 12 Layer Cake by Moody Tongue Brewing is decadent. This imperial/double stout clocks in at 16% ABV, but surprisingly, you wouldn’t know that while drinking it. The bourbon heat is present with notes of chocolate and coconut.
The following day, I went to Franklin Tap. I started with a beer from one of my newish favorite breweries, Phase Three Brewing. This IPA is a collab with Brooklyn’s Other Half Brewing. All Pixel Everything is an imperial/double IPA that is citrusy with a relatively dry finish. The second beer was a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout by Firestone Walker. Parabola (2019) is flavorful with notes of rich malts, charred oak, and vanilla.
I ended this Loop adventure with a meal at Hot Woks Cool Sushi. The restaurant shows its spirit for this holiday with a decorated patio, servers in costume, and a special Halloween menu. I wanted to explore the special menu; however, I was short on time. So, I ordered a regular menu item that I was familiar with. Vegetable Delight is a tasty dish consisting of veggies and tofu in a garlic gravy sauce.
Wow! I’m so glad I decided to change course this year. Thank you to the creatives who made this a memorable Halloween weekend.