It was a bit nippy this year, but another Freakfest has come and gone without a lot of pepper spray and mounted police. The crowd seemed a bit smaller than usual. Naysayers will say it is because of the ticket charges for what was years ago a free event. (It still is free if you get into State Street before 7 p.m. by the way.) But surely a big factor this year was the cold. Maybe even the Badger game. Who knows for sure? The camera battery kept dying from the cold, but here are a few photos from the evening, a few of the better costumes, etc.
This was Peung’s first Freakfest and of course the cold temperatures are not something she has ever experienced in Thailand. But enthusiasm trumped reservations and she drew a number of photo requests for her spooky look from The Ring.
(She showed up at work for a moment to check the schedule and her workmates thought she was a customer. Funny.)
Quite the impressive costume and all the little kids (and a few bigger ones) wanted to pet the doggie. Walking upright or using short stilts in the forearms to walk on all fours, this was great to see heading down State Street, and a magnet for photo ops.
I may have seen this guy before at Freakfest. Nevertheless, pretty amusing, plus a portable windbreak.
Cross dressing guys on roller blades. Not just fun to watch them roll, but also to see the crowd react in various stages of amusement and discomfort.
OK, maybe this isn’t one of the best costumes and it was likely bought off the shelf, but something about the Gingerbread Man from Shrek immediately shifts me into falsetto “Do you know… the Muffin Man???”
There were several costumes that incorporated stilt-walking and this one of a guy dressed as a tree, um, stood out.
Local street musician and zany legend of such classics as “Purple Bananas on the Moon” and “I Wanna Be Madonna” went with a chicken theme at this year’s Freakfest and had composed a few chicken songs.
My excuse is that I waited until too late and everyone else poopooed my Harry Potter as a drunk old has-been idea. Well, nuts if those glasses don’t also work for Waldo. I went as Waldo anyway, predicting there would be 7 of us there. In fact, I counted exactly 6 plus myself. Email me for lottery numbers. The annoying part about being Waldo, predictably, is that everyone, I mean EVERYONE, will “find” you. “Hey, I found you! Look! There’s Waldo!” The first couple people to grab my arm caused me to turn in anticipation. Wait, I don’t know you. Oh. Right. Even driving out of the parking garage at the end of the night I heard someone shout down the street. “Waldoooooo!” I have only myself to blame. Also pictured here is my cousin Renee who had a pretty darn neat bug costume complete with blinking firefly light in back and both a fly buzzer in the nose and crickety clickers in the hands.
And of course the obligatory penis costume. Only one this year. “Daddy, we learned about the hydra in school last week. Look, that guy has a hydra costume!” Er, yes.
Kicking it Old School. Live long and prosper.
Along with the two live music stages there was also a DJ making lower State Street thump and getting the crowd hopping. Kept us warm a bit too.
A bunch of grapes? Or one of the Fruit of the Loom guys?? Am I dating myself here? (Judging from their website, the Fruit of the Loom guys are keeping up with the times. Maybe too much. WTF.)
Fair Trade Coffeehouse offered perfect warm seats to costume watch and be watched under glass.
I always admire the homemade stuff. Here is the Hubble Telescope (NOT the space station – my bad!). 100% recyclable as well.
Locksley, a Madison band gone big-time in New York came back to headline Freakfest 2011.
This might have been my favorite. Yep… Yep.. Yep, yep, yep, yepyepyepyepyepyepyep!
And of course what is State Street’s Freakfest without a preponderance of college coeds in slutty nurse costumes (or similar). How all these women do this for hours in such cold weather is beyond me. I will say there were fewer this year, but the tradition of northern exposure here in Wisconsin still stands.
For a rather different sort of Halloween, check out my Day of the Dead trip photos.