Oklahoma Gazette’s Halloween Parade Celebrates Artistry, Diversity

Approximately 15,000 attendees let their freak flags fly Oct. 27 with the inaugural staging of Oklahoma Gazette‘s Ghouls Gone Wild Halloween parade in downtown Oklahoma City.

If you felt a disturbance in “The Force,” that would’ve been some local lightsaber-wielding Star Wars enthusiasts powered into hyperspace with a Millennium Falcon truck. That float was one of 53 entries in the Gazette-sponsored parade, which serves as a preamble to Oklahoma’s Year of Creativity in 2008.

“It’s a real tribute to how one independent newspaper can impact a community and the perception of that community with a special event on a grand scale,” said Gazette associate publisher Jeffri-Lynn Dyer. “Our new special events company, High Plains Events, organized and arranged this event with the help of the Gazette staff and 200 of the most hard-working volunteers ever assembled!”

The parade, which began in the historic Automobile Alley district, proceeded south down Broadway Avenue into the thriving Bricktown district and concluded at the newly dedicated Flaming Lips Alley in downtown Oklahoma City.

Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips served as grand marshals for the parade. Coyne, the boy in the bubble, followed the March of 1,000 Skeletons, consisting of hundreds of fearless freaks carrying flaming tiki torches as smoke billowed into the October sky.

Oklahoma City’s creative and artistic community came to celebrate in droves. Festive floats with decadent dancers, roller-derby girls accompanied by pole dancers and a theremin-playing surf-rock group joined the 90-minute procession. The organized chaos was rounded out by thousands of costumed revelers ranging from Frankenberry to a walking douche bag. If you couldn’t figure out douche bag’s costumed companion, that was dirt bag.