1 min

Ghouls in the streets

WICKED MAN. Queer and pagan sensibilities overlap. Credit: Xtra files

Church St will have two big Halloween celebrations this year, if organizers of Masqueraid have their way.

Gay bar patrons will naturally dress up and go out Sat, Oct 30. But Masqueraid chair Michael MacDonell is hoping they’ll come back again on the real All Hallow’s Eve when the street is closed off, bars hold their events and the charity fundraising kicks in.

Last year, the event attracted about 35,000 people. But it was on a Saturday and spill over crowds from the last Maple Leaf’s game at the Gardens swelled the numbers.

“We don’t know what numbers we’ll get,” MacDonell said. “But we’re hoping that people will come out Saturday and realize that the events are on Sunday and come back, rather than come out Sunday and find that everything happened on Saturday.”

Masqueraid is being advertised as a Toronto-wide event, not just a gay event, so MacDonell is hoping that a large number of straights will turn up. A golf cart parade from Wood to Dundonald streets will give it a mini-Pride feel.

“I get tired of the Pride Day parade where Mac trucks are parked on the street and it looks like the 401,” MacDonell says.

The rental of golf carts is meant as a fundraiser for the 519 Church St Community Centre and the Church Street Nutrition Program. But so far MacDonell has found only eight participants willing to pay as much as $300 for the use of a cart.

The parade starts at 7:30pm and the stage, featuring Patti Jennetta, Paris Black, Michael Danso, Johnnie Kolovrat, the Polar Ice Dancers and the cast of Forever Swing, among others, starts at 8pm.

Street activities end at 11pm, but the bars are expected to pick up the slack.

For info on renting a cart, call (416) 972-9388