Columbus, Ohio is known for many things: The Ohio State University, the Columbus Crew, college football, and more. However, few people know that Columbus ranks third in the nation for resident fashion designers, just behind New York and LA. This is why Highball Halloween is such an amazing event.
Highball Halloween is a huge Halloween costume party in downtown Columbus with food trucks, fashion, bands, a karaoke truck, performers, drinks, and a whole lot of fun. The event is sponsored by the Short North Arts District, and its crown jewel is the couture fashion show featuring local designers.
The most interesting part of the night was the performance by Nina West and the West Family. I had never seen a drag performance, but Nina's performance was definitely a great one to start with. The costumes were elaborate, and the songs were so fun. I jumped up and down for the trick-or-treat spin on "The Book of Mormon's" opening song. She was definitely a highlight of the night; her energy was contagious.
As I savored my free pint from Jeni's (oh yes, FREE), I watched some of the most amazing costumes parade by me both on the ground and on the stage. Columbus locals go all out, clearly having thought out their costumes for more than a day (as I had), but the centerpiece of the night were the collections of ten local designers vying for the winning title. These are real professionals with varying experience putting their all into four pieces: three smaller designs, and one big design that competes for the best costume.
This year, there were pieces from all over the spooky spectrum: inflatable designs called "Lighter than Air," a giant fairy queen, and a sunken bride, whose dress was literally an entire ship and was the winning design. It was incredible to see what people can do with just some fabric and a vision.
I cannot wait for Highball next year. It's definitely worth at least one night, if not two, of food and fun to kick off Halloween with your friends, especially if you're a fashion enthusiast or looking for something that is just different. It's almost too hard to put into words; next year, just go.