For the next two weekends, the “Greatest Masquerade on Earth” is throwing down, arguably the best costume party in the U.S., in Detroit.
Theatre Bizarre, an arthouse-esque event billed as “the Greatest Masquerade on Earth,” is hosting its annual Halloween party, which combines burlesque, performance art, immersive theater and an old-fashioned costume catwalk. The party itself unfolds like a house of doors, with detailed rooms, dispersed on eight floors of Detroit’s famed (and supposedly haunted) Masonic Temple, opening to elaborate performances throughout the night. Some anticipated highlights include: Performances by American Horror Story star Mat Fraser, RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Violet Chachki and music from David J of Bauhaus.
The event, which began illegally in the early 2000s, sees thousands of masqueraders—from as nearby as Chicago and as far as New Zealand and the Middle East—devoting hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars devising hauntingly crafted costumes to compete with the party’s dedicated carousers.
Unlike the past, Theatre Bizarre will take place over two weekends—this Friday-Saturday, October 14-15 and then again Friday-Saturday, October 21-22. Friday nights, here, are more “formal affairs,” with a black-tie gala, whereas Saturdays are for pure revelry. Though the attraction lures thousands of guests—4,500 last year—there’s a chance this year will be the final shindig. Party organizer John Dunivant told Detroit’s Metro Times that the event’s “putting me in debt.” This year’s double-weekend extravaganza can hopefully garner enough money to keep the party rocking next year.
Those interested in attending should know that the dress code is strictly enforced.
Tom is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? but with more sunscreen and jorts.