For 4 years now the Hilton on Michigan Avenue (720 South) has hosted Chicago’s largest Halloween costume party and I attended this past Saturday. The party started at 8, I arrived at 9 which is relatively early considering the party went until 2am and didn’t really get hopping until after 10.
After picking up my tickets at will call and dropping my coat at coat check, I made my way downstairs and through a labyrinth of draped vendor tables (another convention set up for the weekend) to the dark and decorated 20,000-square-foot basement that served as the party space.
The Halloween décor was pretty typical fare and not as elaborate as I’d hoped, but then you have to leave room for all the party goers (2,000 were expected). There was no lack of cash bars set up around the perimeter of the room along with reserved tables with a view of the mini stage, dance floor, and D.J. booth. The D.J. was rocking early which kept the mood high as more people arrived. There were plenty of scantily clad female partiers, but the men were much more creative overall. My favorites were the group costumes (Sesame Street gang, The Simpsons, Deadmau5 complete with Maus trap with glowing eyes and ears).
I didn't stay until the end but certainly had a blast people/costume watching. This many Halloween revelers in one place was certainly a sight to behold. The crowd was mostly younger as is to be expected but there were plenty of folks 35+ who seemed to be enjoying themselves. The hotel did a great job having plenty of staff and security on hand to make sure things didn't get out of hand. The music was great and libations flowed with no long lines.