Published on September 22nd, 2022

A Cheshire cat slinks into an open seat at the bar next to Poison Ivy, while The Joker bolts outside, leaving his drink, to catch up to an angel disappearing into the All Hallow’s Eve night. If it sounds like a scene from an alternative cartoon universe, it’s actually one that South Floridians know well — from downtown West Palm Beach’s annual Moonfest.

After nearly three decades of Moonfests, the pandemic and local politics, respectively, kept the party on ice (2020) and then bottled up (2021) since the last full-on Halloween bash in 2019 covering several blocks of Clematis Street and environs. The 2021 edition was a costume party, music festival and bar crawl confined to the 500 block of Clematis, where it had originated 28 years earlier. This year looks to be a reprise. “O’Shea’s, Respectables, and most of the businesses in the Subculture Group, will host stages with live music,” Maurice Costigan, owner of O’Shea’s Irish pub, tells PureHoney. To drum-up excitement, those venues are regularly hosting weekend block parties as a lead-in to Halloween time.

So under the waxing crescent moon, on Saturday, Oct. 29, costumed revelers can congregate in the 500 Block. “In traditional event form, attendees can participate in the Moonfest Main Costume Contest, held at O’Shea’s, competing to win a total of $1,000 in cash prizes,” says Costigan.

For serious contest entrants, the stock witch, vampire, ghost, cat, pirate, Batman and zombie costumes are not recommended. Attendees searching for spooky-season inspiration might consult October’s astrological readings: A crescent moon is considered an opportunity to reflect and move forward with new energy, embracing one’s own desires; combined with the Year of the Tiger, it encourages individuals to be brave and independent.

For specific colors or designs, there are this month’s official gemstones: opal, whose holographic sheen produces rainbows under light; and tourmaline, a complex gem commonly mistaken for ruby or emerald. Together, they represent love and mystery, which we can all use a little more of in our lives.

The Moonfest Bar Crawl runs 9pm-midnight, Saturday, Oct. 29 on the 500 block of Clematis Street in West Palm Beach. ~ Amanda Moore