Chicago offers parades, activities, and safety guidelines via ChicagoHalloweek.org to encourage Chicagoans to celebrate a fun and safe Halloween.
On Friday, Mayor Brandon Johnson, in partnership with Chicago Parks District, Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department, Chicago Department of Public Health, Department of Family and Support Services, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Chicago Public Libraries announced the return of Chicago Halloweek in 2023 with hundreds of activities and events across the city. Halloweek brings together City departments and sister agencies, corporations, and community-based organizations to plan Halloween-related activities for Chicago residents of all ages, from Oct. 21-Oct. 31.
“My administration is committed to bringing people together and to fostering safe, productive spaces for our city’s youth,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “I’m proud to partner with community organizations, City departments, the business community, and our philanthropic community to help provide hundreds of activities across our city for Chicago’s families to enjoy this fall season.”
Halloweek activities will begin on Oct. 21 with the 9th Annual Arts in the Dark Parade on State Street from 6-8 p.m. between Lake Street and Van Buren Street. The parade is presented by LUMA8 and the City of Chicago and sponsored by Barry Callebaut and Haribo, with major support from Chicago Loop Alliance.
“As Everyone’s Neighborhood, we are thrilled to once again host the iconic parade celebrating the diverse and vibrant representation of Chicago along State
Street,” said Michael Edwards, President and CEO of Chicago Loop Alliance. “Like Mayor Johnson, we believe that thoughtful, unique programming like LUMA8’s Arts in the Dark parade truly exhibits the ‘soul of Chicago’, and is a reminder of the vast cultural identities and traditions that make Chicago a world-class destination.”
ARTS IN THE DARK celebrates Halloween as the “artists’ holiday” and features cultural organizations and artists from every corner of the city. It is a magical evening of spectacle puppets, music, dancing, and fire spinners, all set against the backdrop of historic State Street.
Mark Kelly, Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade co-founder and artistic director, is thrilled to see the explosion of creative ferment as the parade groups prepare for their State Street performance.
“I am very excited to have the League of Chicago Theatres, in partnership with BandWith Chicago, leading the parade,” Kelly said. “Reinvent Ability and their wheelchair dancers will join over 40 dance organizations, while several striking IATSE film locals will remind us of their importance to the cultural life of our city. The amazing creative life of our city is truly captured in this playful and singular event.”
Candy industry giants Barry Callebaut and HARIBO will start the festivities at 5pm by giving away tens of thousands gummi bear packets and chocolates on every block of the parade route. As a special treat, the signature yellow Goldbear mascot, “HARIBO” will be greeting the crowd gathered for the parade.
From Oct. 23 to Oct. 27, the City will sponsor ten ‘On the Block’ events featuring DJs, giveaways, food trucks with free meals, e-sports, skateboarding workshops, community art projects, and the opportunity to interact with representatives across City departments. On the Block events are targeted for teens ages 14 to 19 but open to all Chicago residents. On the Block events will be held at the following locations from 3:30-5:30 p.m.:
- Monday, Oct. 23 – Uptown, 900 Wilson Ave.
- Monday, Oct. 23- Grand Boulevard, 244 Pershing Rd.
- Tuesday, Oct. 24 – East Garfield Park, 3545 Fulton Blvd.
- Tuesday, Oct. 24 – Gage Park, 5630 Rockwell St.
- Wednesday, Oct. 25 – Albany Park, 3436 Wilson Ave.
- Wednesday, Oct. 25 – Washington Park, 555 E. 51st
- Thursday, Oct. 26 – Riverdale, 939 132nd St.
- Thursday, Oct. 26 – Rogers Park, 6631 Bosworth Ave.
- Friday, Oct. 27- Roseland, 250 111th St.
- Friday, Oct. 27 – Greater Grand Crossing, 6600 King Drive
This year, in addition to the ten “On the Block” events, there will be 15 My CHI. My Future. Safe Spaces for Youth events, called “Kickbacks”, across the city between Oct. 21 and 31. This localized teen engagement strategy has grown by 250% since last year.
These events are hosted and planned by a group of 16 youth employees who curate these events, focusing on engaging other youth and families in their communities. The Department of Family and Support Services funds 15 Year-Round Safe Spaces for Youth programs in the following Community Strategy Regions:
- Auburn Gresham: Halloween Block Party Kickback, 8051 Halsted St., hosted by Metropolitan Family Services (Friday 10/27, 12PM)
- Austin: Austober Fest, Columbus Park Refectory, hosted by Project Exploration (Saturday 10/28, 5PM)
- Back of the Yards: Day of the Dead, Davis Square Park, hosted by After School Matters (Saturday 10/21, 10AM)
- Belmont Cragin: Harvesting Hope, 5100 Diversey Ave., hosted by Rincon Family Services (Thursday 10/26, 5PM)
- Belmont Cragin: All Hallows Bash, 5100 Diversey Ave., hosted by Rincon Family Services (Monday 10/30, 5PM)
- Brighton Park: SGA Trunk or Treat, Kelly High School, hosted by SGA (Saturday 10/28, 11AM)
- Chicago Lawn: Day of the Dead, 2441 63rd St., hosted by Think Outside Da Block (Friday 10/27, 6PM)
- Gage Park: Gage Park Harvest Fest, 5656 St. Louis, Ave., hosted by SGA (Friday 10/27, 2PM)
- Garfield Park: Halloween Haunted House and Pumpkin Patch, Mariac Foglia Center, hosted by After School Matters (Saturday 10/28, 10AM)
- Greater Englewood: Haunted House, 1302 74th St., hosted by Think Outside Da Block (Saturday 10/28, 5PM)
- Greater Grand Crossing: Halloween Fest: Trick or Treat Carnival, Gary Comer Youth Center, hosted by Urban Male Network (Saturday 10/28, 2PM)
- Greater Roseland Area: Scary Movie Night, 235 103rd St., hosted by Metropolitan Family Services (Wednesday 10/25, 4PM)
- Humboldt Park: Halloweek Fall Fest, Kelly Hall YMCA, hosted by Young Men’s Christian Association (Tuesday 10/31, 5PM)
- Little Village: Para Nosotros: Dia de los Muertos, Corkery Elementary School, hosted by The Alliance 98 (Saturday 10/28, 10AM)
- North Lawndale: Safe Trick or Treating, 3605 Fillmore St., hosted by UCAN (Tuesday 10/31, 4:30PM)
- South Shore: Spooktacular Carnival, Rebecca Crown Youth Center, hosted by Urban Male Network (Friday 10/27, 1PM)
The Chicago Park District will host Halloween in the Parks events presented by Mars Wrigley in parks citywide, including Halloween costume parties, haunted houses, arts and crafts workshops and more throughout Chicago’s Halloweek.
“Halloween is a whimsical time that everyone can enjoy safely at fun events happening in Chicago’s parks thanks to the support from the Mayor and our partners at Mars Wrigley,” said Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño. “Halloween costume parties and haunted houses make parks exciting places to share memories with family, friends and neighbors.”
On Oct. 28, the UPSIDE DOWN Halloween Parade will take place on Russell Drive in Washington Park from 12-2 p.m. Presented by LUMA8 and the City of Chicago and sponsored by World’s Finest Chocolate and Ferrara with major support from Amazon, this event turns the traditional parade upside down. Instead of watching from the sidelines, attending families will BE the parade as they walk in costume through the park to view entertainment all around them. The street will come alive with dancers, acrobats, puppetry, and sports mascots. To make the day even sweeter, kids will receive a complimentary goody bag as they exit the event – and for those who need a costume, Amazon will be giving away thousands of spooky outfits at the beginning of the route.
“This year’s Upside Down and Arts in the Dark sponsors have really outdone themselves,” said Sharene Shariatzadeh, President and CEO of LUMA8. “Their generosity has made it possible for Chicago families to safely celebrate more than just Halloween. They’ve helped to provide a platform for the cultural organizations and artists of our city to inspire all of us with their creativity and to showcase what makes Chicago one of the greatest cities in the world – our diverse and dynamic cultural community.”
The City has additional planned events and activities for Halloweek:
The Chicago Park District, with support from the Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC), Mars Wrigley, the Chicago Police Department, The Chicago Public Library, and others, will help residents celebrate ‘Halloweek on the Block’ with ten pop-ups on residential streets throughout Halloweek.
In addition to the Chicago Park District’s Halloween in the Parks, the Chicago Public Library will host in-person programming throughout the week
Chicago community based organizations, businesses, and block club leaders are asked to visit ChicagoHalloweek.org to register their Halloween activities. Launched October 1st, the website features a searchable list of all Halloweek programming happening across the city and will continue to be updated throughout.
“As families celebrate Halloween, we remind them to do so safely,” said Fikirte Wagaw, Acting Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public
Health. “That means staying home if you are sick, and washing your hands often. Most importantly, it means making sure the whole family is up-to-date on vaccinations, including the new, updated COVID-19 vaccine released this fall, and an annual flu shot. You can get both at the same time. It’s the best way to avoid serious illness and hospitalization this fall and winter, especially for those at greatest risk.
For more information regarding Halloween in the Parks, visit chicagoparkdistrict.com/Halloween.
To find a COVID-19 vaccine visit www.vaccines.gov.