Mark Tarone, here with the Cherry Blossom Cabaret girls, is staging the biggest night of Halloween entertainment Downtown has ever seen, with both local and national acts. ‘Something for everyone,’ says Tarone

Friday - October 31, 2008
By Kerry Miller
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Producer Mark Tarone surrounded by local burlesque troupe Cherry Blossom Cabaret, who will present both family-friendly and adult-oriented shows at Hallowbaloo

There’s something for everyone Friday night when vamps and ghouls, artists and musicians celebrate All Hallow’s Eve in style on the streets of the Downtown arts district

Halloween made its way to the United States in the late 1890s to early 1900s via Irish immigrants, who carried with them traditions from their homeland. Short for “All Hallow’s Eve,“the holiday originated in Ireland, stemming from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain took place at the end of the harvest season, during which pagans wore costumes and masks, stocked up on supplies for the winter and slaughtered livestock. In Ireland today, Halloween retains traditional elements, but also is celebrated similarly to how it is here in the United States - costumes are worn, children trick-or-treat, fireworks are set off and street festivals offer fun for all.

Tonight Honolulu will celebrate Halloween similar to the way the Irish did when the first “Hallowbaloo” kicks off downtown, in the area of Nuuanu Avenue to Chaplain Lane and King Street. Not only is Hallowbaloo a free street festival, but coincidentally, it takes place in the area of two of Honolulu’s popular Irish pubs, Murphy’s and O’Toole’s. Hallowbaloo mastermind Mark Tarone, owner of T-Rx Entertainment, sees the event as a chance for the community to come together.

“In selecting the entertainment, I really focused on making sure we had something for everyone. One of the No. 1 goals of the event is for it to strengthen the community and to do so by uniting a diverse group of people. I’ve had the good fortune of attending several street festivals in Europe, there’d be everybody from older people to little tykes, it’s the easiest chance to get people together, share experiences together,“says Tarone, an Aina Haina resident.

Oregon indie band The Helio Sequence will be on stage at the Loft Lounge and Gallery

This night of music, arts and spooky Halloween fun features music, dancing, fortune-telling, costume contests and more. Family-style entertainment is from 3 to 6:30 p.m., including the “Trick-or-Treat Gallery Walk” through 11 downtown art galleries. Anyone passing through wearing a costume will receive sugary treats. In the courtyard in front of the Art Board Gallery, storyteller Jeff Gere will spin spooky tales, and stylists from the Hawaii Institute of Hair Design will give free wacky hair-dos to keiki. Palm reader Angela Wade will reveal your fortune, and Land of Organica is offering freshly made sorbet.Also, when you visit galleries participating in the “Passport Gallery Walk,“get a passport card stamped by as many galleries as you can and you’ll be entered to win prizes, like a Neighbor Island vacation courtesy of go! Airlines. Passports can be picked up and stamped anytime between 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. today. (Visit www.hallowbaloo.com for a list of participating galleries.) Dragon dancers will entertain, following the “Trick-or-Treat Gallery Walk"starting at 6:30 p.m., and put on a second show at 8:30 p.m. Garage Cinema presents the screening of horror film, Halloweird on a 15-foot-wide outdoor screen at Hotel and Smith streets from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Throughout the night, three entertainment stages are hosting many exciting performances, musical and otherwise. On the “Grandest Spectacle Stage” at the corner of Nuuanu and Hotel, DJ Mr. Nick mixes beats from jazzy sax solos to house and samba at 6 p.m.; Brett Dennen and Band take over at 7 p.m. entertaining with their folk-rock sounds, followed by the local collaboration Ron Artis and The Family Band at 8 p.m. At 9 p.m., Papa Mali and Band shares the stage with former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux.

The Guy Cruz Duo - Guy Cruz and Marc Pearlman - kick things off on the “Loloweeny Stage"at 5:30 p.m. Enjoy the fresh and funky sounds of Swampa ZZ next at 6:30 p.m., followed by reggae act Ooklah the Moc at 7:30. DJ Sovern-T spins drum and bass,

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