Of all the holidays we celebrate, Halloween offers the most explicit excuse/encouragement to get weird. OK, "creative." A neighborhood like ours -- flush with creative people of all stripes -- tends to make particularly good use of that excuse.
In the weeks leading up to the big candy-grabbin' day, East Nashville is stocked with fun Halloween events, from the family-friendly to the adult beverage-focused. Looking for other places to show off your Terrible Twerkin' Miley costume? Peruse the neighborhood offerings.
Tuesday, Oct. 15
Halloween-themed East Side Storytellin’ with Betsy Phillips and Old Hazelwood
East Side Story's Chuck Beard hosts the regular East Side Storytellin' shindig, which brings local writers out to read their work and talk craft alongside local musicians. This particular installment is the first "Halloween-ish" Storytellin' (intended to be an annual thing), featuring A City of Ghosts writer Betsy Phillips and sounds from Old Hazelwood. Costumes aren't required, per se, but they're very much encouraged.
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Mad Donna’s (1313 Woodland St.)
Admission: free to attend (though eating/drinking aren't free)
More info: East Side Story website
Thursday, Oct. 17
Happy Hilloween Run and Costume Contest
Imagine how much more frightened neighbors will be of your undead ostrich costume when you're not leisurely strolling with a plastic pumpkin on actual Halloween, but scrambling down streets with a whole bunch of other costumed friends on Thursday. Slap on some spooky garb, head to Nashville Running Company and join up for this hilly run, followed by a (certainly sweaty) costume contest.
When: 6 p.m.
Where: Nashville Running Company (1105 Woodland St.)
More info: MapMyRun
Sunday, Oct. 20
Community Costume Workshop
We all know that handmade costumes are invariably more interesting and more inspired than the plastic stuff you can snag at CVS. But not all of us are innately gifted in the art of sewing up some spooky. Kaleidoscope Community Center for the Arts to the rescue: At their Community Costume Workshop, Kaleidoscope teachers will help you turn your costume concepts into reality, from fine-tuning ideas to execution. Bring the main components of your costume idea (along with any other highly specific pieces that you might need, and any items you'd like to contribute), and the Kaleidoscope folks will provide basic tools and materials (from glue guns to seam rippers and velcro) and their smarts.
When: 3 to 6 p.m.
Where: Kaleidoscope Community Center for the Arts (3107 Gallatin Pike)
Admission: Pay what you can at the door
More info: Community Costume Workshop Eventbrite page
Friday, Oct. 25
"Who's Your Mummy?" Evening Exploration for Grown Ups!
If you enjoy a little cultural exploration with your Halloween silliness: Kaleidoscope hosts this evening CultureQuest workshop, designed to teach attendees about the history of ritual mummification throughout the world and the ages. But since we always learn better by doing, you'll prepare your own "mummy" for Halloween decoration, and sip some wine while learning and mummying.
When: 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Where: Kaleidoscope (3107 Gallatin Pike)
More info: Who's Your Mummy? Eventbrite page
Saturday, Oct. 26
The Shoppes on Fatherland host a Halloween-y gathering for the whole family -- including pets -- in BooFest, an afternoon of lighthearted fun. Take the kids trick-or-treating all around the Shoppes, stop for free halloween portraits and to shop in the marketplace, sit for some Halloween storytelling, and show off your young and four-legged family members' get-ups during a Kids & Dogs Parade & Costume Contest.
When: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: The Shoppes on Fatherland, 1006 Fatherland St.
More info: East Nashville Events website
Pumpkin Ale Patch Fall Party
From the folks behind East Nashville Underground: A fall party including scary movie screenings, live music, beer and a fun, Halloween-y outdoor hang.
When: 4 p.m.
Where: "Headcorders" (1604 Shelby Ave.)
More info: Pumpkin Ale Patch Facebook event page
2nd Annual Witches' Ball at Logue's Black Raven Emporium
Eastside stop Logue's Black Raven Emporium is particularly gifted in the art of the spooky, so Halloween, naturally, is their time to shine. Their 2nd Annual Witches' Ball features various witchy happenings, including a best witch costume contest, all sorts of witch-related films screening in the theatre, tarot readings, and something they're calling "a live witch's stake," which we're kind of terrified of. Which is probably the point.
When: 9 p.m.
Where: Logue's, 2915 Gallatin Pike
Admission: $10, 21+
More info: 2nd Annual Witches' Ball Facebook event page
Thursday, Oct. 31
Porter Flea Presents Full Bleed Halloween Print Show
Porter Flea is well-known around here for providing opportunities to buy all kinds of cool, locally made stuff. This event augments the "cool" and "local" by adding "strange." Local print talents -- including Boss Construction, Arcade Death, Sawtooth Printhouse and many others -- will have limited editions of their weirdest/most ghoulish works for sale, alongside screenings of B movies, "diabolical drinks," a costume contest and lots more.
When: 7 - 11 p.m.
Where: The Crying Wolf, 823 Woodland St.
Admission: No cover
More info: Full Bleed Facebook event page
East Nashville Five Points Halloween Pub Crawl
Every year, the Halloween Pub Crawl is an eye- and palate-pleasing evening of weird/wild costumes wandering around Five Points and drink specials and prizes at the great bars within wandering distance there, including Drifters, Beyond the Edge, The Red Door Saloon and 3 Crow Bar. This year, we expect the ante to be upped, since it's the 10th anniversary of the shindig. Throw on your costume and get to wandering -- though, neighborly love y'all: Make sure you arrange a ride home.
When: 7 - 11 p.m.
Where: Five Points
Admission: Free, 21+
More info: Five Points Pub Crawl Facebook page
West Eastland Candy Crawl
Here's why you'll see West Eastland blocked off on Halloween: A crew of neighbors have arranged this first-ever Candy Crawl to provide families with a friendly and safe space to trick-or-treat and congregate. It's a start toward bigger plans: Hopes are to expand in the future to include artists, music and food, with this first Crawl paving the way. Sophia's Heart Foundation is donating parking space in their lot (at 1034 West Eastland), and all donations at the event beyond the cost of posting MNPD officers at each end of the block will go toward's Sophia's Heart's work to help children in need.
When: 6 - 9 p.m.
Where: All along West Eastland
Admission: Donations are welcome
Hail Grand Opening
Hail, Dark Aesthetics -- a new taxidermy, oddities and antiques shop aimed for "the darker side" -- opens its doors officially on a fitting day: Halloween. Check out the new Porter Rd. shop while enjoying free booze, getting your tarot read and dancing to goth/new wave songs being spun. Far as the dress-up part of Halloween goes, the Hail contest is, naturally, aimed at the "oddest" costume. Dress accordingly.
When: 6 - 9:30 p.m.
Where: Hail, Dark Aesthetics (737 Porter Rd.)
More info: Hail Grand Opening Facebook event page
Cole Family Practice Community Appreciation Night
Grab the kids and head by Riverside Village for free face painting, organic treats and other signs of appreciation from relatively fresh-faced Riverside residents Cole Family Practice.
When: 5 - 7 p.m.
Where: Cole Family Practice (1406 McGavock Pike)
Through Nov. 1
The Dog Spot's Third Annual Halloween Costume Photo Contest
People have very visceral reactions to the topic of putting pups in clothing, usually either of the "squee" or boiling-anger ilk. But can we all agree that a dog in a Halloween costume is adorable and hilarious? Those who enjoy seeing pug princesses and pooch pirates and such, take a peep at The Dog Spot's Facebook page, where they're documenting this third annual halloween costume photo contest. Think your pup has the goods? Submit a costumed-canine photo to thedogspotLLC(at)gmail(dot)com. Semi-finalists go up for votes on Nov. 1, winners are announced on Nov. 4, and the bounty includes free Dog Spot wares for the pups, gift certificates to Lockeland Table and The Wild Cow for parents.
More info: The Dog Spot's Facebook page