Cost: $95 for the main event, $260 for the full gala
Dates: October 20 for the full Masquerade Gala, October 21 for just the Theatre Bizarre
Detroit’s most hotly anticipated Halloween party (and one of its most expensive) takes place in Detroit’s ultimate haunted house: the Masonic Temple. For months in advance of the late October event, hundreds of volunteers work to create a beautiful spectacle for the beautifully costumed guests whose looks are subject to a firm set of rules. Here, “no character costumes” bears the weight of “no wire hangers, ever!”, and partygoers often rival performers for their elaborate garb.
This year, the entertainment includes a vast assortment of burlesque performers, Satori Circus, the Detroit Party Marching Band, and the Theatre Bizarre Orchestra. Last weekend's epic Friday the 13th (of October) gala has come and gone, but you can still get into the gala on October 20, and the main event production on October 21. The Gala includes an open bar, valet parking, strolling dinner, the Ghost Train ride and an ice cream parlor. The main event experience has a cash bar and food-for-purchase, with eight stories of “endless curiosities, shows, roaming performers, and unexpected delights around every corner.” There’s also the Dirty Devil’s Peepshow and twenty different musical acts in the main ballroom.
While the gala is a huge splurge at $260, it’s truly a Detroit original, and should be experienced at least once, either in this life, or the (very spooky) next one. If you want the spectacle but can live without the open bar, ice cream, and lavish strolling dinner, the main event Saturdays are a bit more reasonable at $95.