For some sensational Halloween fun, check out the Central West End neighborhood in St. Louis. The CWE's annual Halloween bash draws thousands of visitors to this cosmopolitan and cool district of the city every year. During the day, there's trick-or-treating and other fun activities for the kids. At night, it's the adults' turn, with music, food, drinks, and an incredible costume contest that includes cash prizes for the top three winners and Central West End bucks for the rest of the top 10 costume contestants.
The Halloween fest is free, but those who want to compete in the adults-only costume contest must pay a fee.
When and Where
The Central West End Halloween celebration happens each year on the Saturday before Halloween. In 2017, the party will be on Saturday, Oct. 28. Businesses throughout the neighborhood will be open for the celebration, but most of the events, including the big costume contest, happen at the intersection of Maryland and Euclid avenues in the heart of the Central West End.
Schedule of Events
The CWE Halloween celebration is a daylong event beginning at 11 a.m. with a children's parade and ending at midnight with the adult costume contest and party. Here's the schedule of events:
11 a.m.: Children's parade
Noon: Trick-or-treating at Central West End businesses
1 p.m.: Dog parade, with your pups in costume
2 p.m.: Live entertainment on the stage at Maryland and Euclid avenues
6 p.m. to midnight: Adults-only block party
8 to 10 p.m.: Adult costume contest
The Costume Contest
The biggest event of the CWE Halloween party is always the costume contest. If you've never been, it's really something to see. Some contestants go all out and put a lot of time and effort into their creative costumes. The contest is for those 18 and older, and there are always some costumes that push the limits of good taste. But that's part of the fun too. The entry fee is $25 for individuals or $50 for groups and must be paid in cash. And the prize money is not too shabby; the first-place winner walks home $2,500 richer.
Everyone is encouraged to wear a costume whether they're in the contest or not. If you need some ideas for dressing up, here's where to get Halloween costumes in St. Louis.
The Central West End is easy to get to, but a parking place will likely be hard to find once you get into the neighborhood. From Highway 40/Interstate 64, take the Kingshighway exit and go north to Maryland Avenue. Some street parking is available throughout the neighborhood, but it fills up quickly. There are also parking lots/garages in the 4600 block of Lindell Boulevard, the 4700 block of McPherson Avenue, and at 435 N. Euclid Ave.
If you want to take public transportation, the nearest Metrolink stop is the Central West End Station near Barnes-Jewish Hospital.