Arts in the Dark: The Halloween parade celebrating Chicago's creative community


Saturday, October 21, 2017, 6-8pm

On Columbus Dr. moving North from Balbo to Monroe St.

DCASE Homepage  >  Downtown Parades  >  Arts in the Dark  >  Neighborhood Parades


The Halloween Parade of Artists, celebrating Chicago's Creative Spirits

(click on image to enlarge)
Arts in the Dark unites the city’s diverse creative community in a magical nighttime parade. Drawing together world-renowned institutions as well as artists in assorted fields, this dramatic display activates Halloween as the “artist’s holiday”.

This family-friendly spectacle will begin as dusk arrives and will include live music, unique floats, fanciful giant puppets and more. The parade is produced by LUMA8 and will be led by 8 creative leaders whose work has animated our city in a powerful way. Join us for an evening of entertainment in one of the most important cultural districts in the nation!


Schedule of Events:

4-5:45pm - Pre-Parade Activities

The Chicago Blackhawks will host a pre-parade celebration - special highlights will include the Blackhawks street team, music and a Blackhawks inspired mural featuring Halloween elements to commemorate the artist’s holiday in conjunction with hockey. The mural will be displayed for party-goers to take photos with and post to social media for the chance to win Blackhawks prizes.

Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park


6-8pm - Parade

Arts in the Dark - Halloween Parade of Artists draws together Chicago’s vast creative community, from world-renowned cultural institutions to aspiring artists in every field.  Lookingglass Theatre will delight the crowd with characters from their Alice production and will partner with performers from The Actor's Gymnasium, The Art Institute and School of the Art Institute will march in medieval-style armor, Broadway In Chicago will invite their devoted fans to dress up as their favorite Broadway characters, 1871 will have a float modeled after the Chicago Merchandise Mart, and After School Matters will have multiple programs participating including West Town Bikes with decorated cycles and riders, the Mariachi Ensemble, Aztec Dance Chicago and The Art of Drumming.

On Columbus Dr. moving north from Balbo Ave. to Monroe St.


March with DCASE!

Creative Chicagoans are invited to march with DCASE's parade contingent contingent and are encouraged to come in costume as one of Chicago's famous public art pieces. We have created five creative costume instruction kits to get you started - come dressed as Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate (aka The Bean), Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain, Alexander Calder's Flamingo, Jean Dubuffet's Standing Beast or The Picasso. Or be inspired by vibrant murals throughout the Pilsen neighborhood and Alison Saar's Monument to the Great Northern Migration in Bronzeville. There are many ways to explore Chicago's collection of public artworks - including the Public Art Chicago app, the Vamonde urban storytelling app, the Statue Stories Chicago project and public art information on the Choose Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Park District and DCASE website.

If you are interested in joining our contingent, sign up. We hope you can join us!


Costume Instruction Kits

 Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate






Crown FountainCrown Fountain


Monument with Standing BeastMonument with Standing Beast



Post-Parade Activities:


House Music Dance Party with DJ Roy Davis Jr and the Fivestarboogie Dancers

hosted by DCASE at Cloud Gate (aka "The Bean"), Millennium Park



Family-Friendly Halloween Movie and Candy Giveaway hosted by the Chicago Park District at Maggie Daley Park

Come to the park after this year’s parade for the official family after party! Featuring: a family-friendly Halloween movie on the lawn (so pack your blankets and snacks),  Trick-or-Treating in the Play Garden,  late night Mini Golf*, spooky games, prizes and more at the climbing wall and Skating Ribbon*

$20/child includes climbing, scooting or skating, face painting, balloon artists and MORE. Check-in at the fieldhouse.

*Mini golf, climbing, and skating have rental costs.

RSVP for a free ticket!


For more information, visit


Information and Resources

Columbus Dr. from Balbo to Monroe
Chicago, IL 60605

FREE Admission







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