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Guide to Halloween in Kingston in 2009

Guide to Halloween, costumes, events, Kingston, OntarioThe night of the living dead, cutesy trick or treaters, and drunken costumed fools is fast approaching.  Three sleeps away to be exact.  While some of us have been hard at work deciding on and fabricating the perfect costume, others may need some assistance regarding their outfit, and the best local destinations on All Hallows Eve.  Without further ado, let’s go bobbing for some tasty Halloween advice.

Each and every year there are many popular costumes, while a short list of overused ideas for 2009 is as follows:  Michael Jackson, John and Kate plus eight, Balloon Boy, Barack Obama, Billy Mays, David Letterman and a sexy intern, or an ashamed Toronto Maple Leafs fan.  If you had your heart set on any of these ideas, you either have to put forth the effort to pull it off flawlessly, or incorporate a slight variation to set yourself apart, such as zombie Barrack Obama, or Michael Jackson during his years as a member of the Jackson 5.  Get some helpful inspiration and remember, you don’t want to show up dressed as someone who just got off work, or worse, a ghost.  Effort and originality will earn you big points, and lots of laughs.

Once you’ve decided on your attire, it’s time to go shopping.  Kingston has both dedicated Halloween and costume rental shops, as well as used clothing retailers to help you on your way.  If you’re strapped for time and aren’t worried about price, Audrey’s (699 Gardiners) is considered one of the best.  They have a full compliment of ready to wear, rental theatre costumes, as well as a generous stock of beards, masks and related accessories for sale.  Additionally, Halloween-centric stores recently popped up in the Kingston Centre plaza, as well as in the former Body Shop location.  In case you’re on a tighter budget, the Limestone City is home to numerous thrift and used clothing stores, including: Value Village (1300 Bath Rd), the Salvation Army (277 Bath Rd, and 472 Division), Phase 2 (353 Princess), and What’ll I Wear (338 Princess).  These places tend to sell a lot of their inventory during the spooky season, so don’t procrastinate and risk being disappointed.

In my neighbourhood, the trickle of trick or treaters tends to stop around 8pm.  Whether you’re looking for something to do afterwards, or are forgoing the distribution of candy altogether (shame), you’ll need a destination to show off your costumed glory.  Family friendly, and age of majority events are as follows:

  • The Haunted Walk – a walking tour by lantern-light with stops at various locations for terrifying tales.  The tour takes an hour and a half, and departs from the lobby of the Prince George Hotel (200 Ontario St).
  • Ghosts of the Fort – a haunted walk, which takes place at Fort Henry. This tour is a bit shorter, however it includes a journey through “Fort Fright”. Ghosts of the Fort departs from the front gate of the facility.
  • Fort Fright – Kingston’s Fort Henry has been transformed into Fort Fright, which features a large number of spooky, costumed animators, movie-style special effects, lighting and sound. Voted ‘Best New Ontario Event in 2008’, Fort Fright is a local attraction that should not to be missed.
  • Wolfe Island Corn Maze – take a late night trip on ferry and over to Wolfe Island to attempt the spooky corn maze amidst other costumed folks.  Reservations required, but reportedly worth it.
  • Slaves of Spanky and Thorax – The Toucan (76 Princess) hosts a concert with local hip hop legends.
  • Ianspotting, Betablokka, Agpak Mum – The Mansion (506 Princess) hosts a music-filled evening.
  • Bill Cosby – Sick of Halloween? Grab your jello pudding pop and head over to the KRC.

Whatever you dress up as, and wherever you end up on Saturday night, be sure to have fun.  Thanks to Diego Cupolo, for his fun photo of an interplanetary approach to Halloween costumes.

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Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

One thought on “Guide to Halloween in Kingston in 2009

  • October 30, 2009 at 3:41 pm
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    Also, new this year is “Spirit Halloween” (I know, weird name…). I just visited myself and it is pretty awesome. Tons of costumes and accessories as well as great stuff for decorating. I almost bought some tights just cause they were pretty cute for everyday wear. There’s still tons of stuff and starting Sunday it will all be 50% off. It’s at Bath and Gardiners in the plaza next to Fabricland.

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