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Halloween on Church St will be frightening and fabulous

The Priscilla, Queen of the Desert bus will park on Church St for the night

The Priscilla, Queen of the Desert bus will roll onto Church St on Halloween night, bringing with it frighteningly fabulous fun, Xtra has learned.

The annual week-long Church-Wellesley Village’s Halloween Festival is set to be spooktacular, with events for young and old throughout the Village, culminating in a street party dubbed the Annual Halloween Block Party.

During the block party, on Sunday from 7pm to 11pm, the bus will be stationed just north of Wellesley St on the east side, in front of Cawthra Park, says David Wootton, Church-Wellesley Village Business Improvement Area (CWVBIA) manager.

“We just got approved from the city and Mirvish Productions,” he says excitedly. “Performers will be on the street in costume promoting the show.”

It’s not the official light bulb-covered Priscilla bus used onstage at the Princess of Wales Theatre, he says. It’s a promotional bus that will be pumping music, and an army of dancing performers in costume, onto the street.

Wootton says organizers will be giving away tickets to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert — The Musical at several Halloween events.

The Halloween Block Party — called “the largest, most electrifying outdoor Halloween event in the city” — takes over the  street on Halloween night from 7pm to 3am, he says. Church St will be closed to traffic.

“Be prepared to enter the twilight zone as the Village celebrates the undead by coming alive with music, dancing and thousands of frightastic costumes,” Wootton says.

Xtra will broadcast live on Halloween night outside the Xtra offices on Church St, capturing the craziest costumes and demonic debauchery.

Elsewhere, Hallow Mania takes place at Crews and Tangos on Oct 30 and 31 at 7pm, with drag shows and themed costume contests.

The week of spooky festivities kicks off Saturday (Oct 23) with Halloween Hullabaloo, a children’s event at the 519 Church Street Community Centre from 10:30am to 1:30pm geared to queer parents and their kids. Activities include a kids’ costume parade, “fab-boo-less entertainment,” crafts and snacks.

Also on Saturday (Oct 23), strap on the chaps and drag yourself out to the Church Street Drag and Leather Boo-Zaar and Psychic Fair from 5pm to 9pm. There will be great deals on some last-minute costume items, and world-renowned psychic and clairvoyant David will be doing palm and tarot-card readings, Wootton says. All proceeds benefit the Toronto People With Aids Foundation.

Peppering the week is the Devilicious Culinary Tour, which kicks off Oct 24 and runs to Halloween night, offering deals on fixed menus at various neighbourhood haunts, including Fuzion Resto-Lounge, Kaiseki Sakura, Byzantium, Café California, Kokoni Izakaya, Just Thai, Chi-Ko-Roo Restaurant and the Village Rainbow Restaurant.

The Queen of Halloween drag show competition at Woody’s and Sailors Bar begins on Oct 27 at 10pm. Toronto’s own Miss Conception hosts the ghoulish festivities as drag performers compete for the crown and three cash prizes. Interested competitors can pick up application forms at Woody’s from Monday through Friday during regular business hours.

For the fourth annual Jack-O-Lantern Carving Contest, hosted by Out and Out Toronto on Oct 29 from 7pm to 9:30pm, there will be designated carving stations operating on the southwest corner of Church and Maitland streets on the patio of O’Grady’s Bar and Grill.

To enter the carving contest, call 416-393-6363 or show up on location. The pumpkins will be auctioned off at the end, between 9:30pm and 10pm. All proceeds will go to the Church and Wellesley Tenants Association.