On a rainy, muggy night, thousands of costume-clad partygoers hit Charlotte bars on the first Halloween to fall on a Saturday in 11 years.
It was the culmination of a week of nightly costume parties that started a week before with the Gravedigger's Ball and ended Saturday with virtually every bar in town decking its walls with fake spider webs and orange and black streamers.
And because Oct. 31 was a Saturday this year, parties started early -- more than 1,200 people alone joined Rich and Bennett's Pub Crawl that started at 1 p.m. -- and lasted well into the night for those who were able to go the distance in packed, humid bars. (My aching feet forced me to throw in the towel at 11:30. I wasn't one of the brave few girls who risked who-knows-what by traipsing barefoot through beer-splattered bars.)
A few people did their interpretation of recent pop-culture phenomenon Falcon Heene, aka Balloon Boy, but special props go to the guy who pasted a picture of Falcon on the balloon with the caption "Save Me."
One dedicated guy was a very convincing Teen Wolf -- easily the best makeup of the night, along with a group of Kiss lookalikes.
Two airline pilots got a lot of attention: one was a Northwest pilot who had a laptop strapped to him with a sign pointing toward Minneapolis, and the other was local hero Captain Sully, complete with goosefeathers and a deflated-looking goose atop his head.
A group of three guys dressed as plastic Army soldiers and stayed in character throughout the night. They were spotted around town posing for pictures in the classic stances made famous by the toys.
Not only has Halloween become the sluttiest night of the year (see: The Overdone, below), but it has also apparently become the night when men unleash their adolescent senses of humor. Seriously, guys, the giant penis costumes are just gross. Curiously, you never see any of them with dates.
On the opposite end of the in-your-face spectrum are the costumes that aren't immediately recognizable. If you don't know within seconds, it's not a successful costume. I saw way too many of those this weekend.
Football jerseys are just plain lazy. Period.
I said it last year, and I'll say it again. The sexy insert-any-character/insect/animal-you-can-think-of-here has become entirely too predictable. They all just start to blend in after a while, taking the shock factor out of barely there skirts, fishnets and skimpy tops. (To see any of these said costumes, click on any album on LazyDay.com or CarolinaNightlife.com or check out this list of Dos and Don'ts to consider next year.)
Doctors. (See football jerseys above.)
While I liked this costume, I saw it a lot: guys dressed as the little boy from "Where the Wild Things Are" as the children's classic enjoys a pop-culture resurgence with the movie version of the book in theaters now. But, I have to give credit to any grown man willing to wear a footed onesie.
And, I'm including myself in the overdone category. I was one of many Lady Gagas spotted pants-less around town, although we all offered something different. Here's a pic of me and fellow Gagas.
For more pictures from Halloween, check out my Party Pix slideshow when it goes up Thursday afternoon on CharlotteObserver.com. For video from Saturday night, click here.
What's your take on Halloween 2009? Best/worst parties? Most overdone costumes? Post in comments below.