We've got a bit of time before Mardi Gras officially comes back around, but what if we told you that you could experience all the insanity of the iconic celebration next month? If you're looking to party from dusk until dawn, Athens is hosting a Halloween festival that's on par with Mardi Gras in every way. There will be booze and costumes galore, along with parades and parties that shut down several streets. Count us in.
Wild Rumpus is Athen's annual Halloween festival that's taking place on Oct. 25 and 26. The two-day festival is just one of the many traditions of this North Georgia party town. The downtown area will be flooded with people dressed in their Halloween best. It's not mandatory to be in costume, but your Friday and Saturday will get a lot better if you do. Anyone who dresses up gets to walk in the massive parade too so don't miss this opportunity for you to become famous (at least Athens-famous).
It's an all-day affair both days, but the fun for grown folks kicks off on Saturday night. The "Rumpus Rally" at Creature Comforts is the meet-up party before the parade AKA the pre-game. You'll get some serious tailgate vibes, and you should expect nothing less from the home of UGA.
The Wild Rumpus Parade proceeds the rally, and it's the main attraction. Expect lots of music, dancing, screaming and an overall good time. Over 10,000 people are expected to come, so when we say it's massive, it really is.
The party doesn't end after the parade. When you reach the point where the parade ends, it's like one big after-party. Four blocks will be shut down for you to view some live performances including circus performers. You won't just be watching though — you'll be part of the dance party in the streets of Athens.
Just when you think the night is over, Athens hits you with more. The Georgia Theatre is hosting the post-parade ball. The 18+ gala will feature performers taking over the rooftop to play the night away. Although it's a small town, the indie music scene in Athens is huge. It's definitely worthwhile to stick around for the concert.
Even though you're there to party and enjoy life, the celebration is even more worthwhile because the event proceeds go to Athens Area Homelessness Shelter.
Wild Rumpus goes down, rain or shine. If Athens is too out of your way, you can hit up the Little Five Points Halloween Parade in the coolest part of Atlanta.
When: Oct. 25 and 26
Address: 271 W. Hancock Ave., Athens, GA 30601 (starting point)
Why You Need To Go: This is one of the craziest Halloween parties in the entire state, all for a good cause.