Halloween on Central’s LGBTQ+ spooktacular returns

Halloween on Central 2. (Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent)

ST. PETERSBURG | Halloween on Central will return for its third iteration Oct. 29 from 12-5 p.m. with spooktacular events by, for and inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community.

Billed as St. Petersburg’s largest open-air event, Halloween on Central welcomed more than 100,000 people in 2022. It will once again transform 22 blocks of Central Ave. into a car-free space featuring an eclectic mix of entertainers, shops, vendors and more from Dr. MLK Jr. St. to 31st St.

Halloween on Central 3 is presented by Grow Financial in a partnership between the Grand Central District, EDGE District, the City of St. Pete, LocalShops1 and St Pete Pride. EDGE Business District Association Executive Director Roger Curlin says the event “has gone from surprise to sensational in only two years.”

The district he represents includes LGBTQ+-owned shops and venues on Central like Atlas Body + Home, and Enigma. It will include costume contests, DJs, shopping, entertainment and other highlights Curlin says will appeal to LGBTQ+ locals and visitors.

“Halloween is definitely a celebration of community and creativity and has been embraced in the LGBTQ+ world for decades,” he says. “This event is especially cool because of the family and friends vibe we are cultivating. We want every stripe and shade of the entire rainbow to come out and celebrate with us.” Read more:

New this year is the Voodoo Village, presented by LocalShops1. The organization advocates for independent and locally owned businesses throughout the region:

“Halloween on Central will be extra special this year with the new Voodoo Vendor Village, featuring a diverse and inclusive lineup of more than 140 local makers and small businesses,” LocalShops1 Founder Ester Venouziou promises. That includes Alexa Schneider and Lauren Sampson’s 5801 Print House.

The couple says they’re eager to bring their vintage-inspired gift shop to the event which they’ve previously attended but not as vendors. They call the outing “an amazing event that allows the community to slow down and really take in our beautiful downtown and the local businesses that make St. Pete such a great place.”

The Grand Central District will also feature St Pete Pride’s between the 2500 and 2800 blocks. The organization will lead a costume contest and showcase community partners with entertainment on its main stage at 26th St.

Their current-reigning Royal Court will host, with performances from Mr. SPP Vyn Suazion, Miss SPP Ceazia Giovanni Kreshe and Mx SPP Kamarion Lavish and other fan favorites. Executive Director Nicole Berman says that “we love being part of Halloween on Central and can’t wait to celebrate with the community!” View more details below:

Grand Central District Association Executive Director Chris Arnold says this year’s event will be the best yet. He notes that the SunRunner will be free for those attending and that the Tampa Bay Rays are providing parking in the lots adjacent to the event, adding that LGBTQ+ venues like Cocktail will once again “be pulling out all the stops.”

The venue’s Cock-o-Ween will feature free entertainment in and outside of Cocktail and The Wet Spot throughout the day. Orlando drag legend Darcel Stevens will host and VIP experiences are available to see headliner and Billboard Hot 100 recording artist Robin S., New York City drag sensation Alotta McGriddles and Eureka O’Hara from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “We’re Here.” Read our interview with the celebrated entertainer here.

“Halloween on Central has proven to be one of our busiest days of the year!” Cocktail owner David Fischer says. “The event kicks off the holiday season and the attendees are all about celebrating fall and supporting local businesses. Halloween on Central really excites people about the possibilities of future closures to parts of Central Ave., as has been hinted in the past by city officials.”

“The Grand Central District is where the celebration of local Pride began,” Curlin says. “The EDGE District aligns very similarly with Grand Central in its embracement of LGBTQ+ support … Halloween on Central 3 is shaping up to be our biggest and best ‘open-street costume stroll’ yet!”

Halloween on Central will be held Oct. 29 from 12-5 p.m. For more information, visit HalloweenOnCentral.com.

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