SAVE Dade submerges itself
For true queens, everyday life is a drag show. It can get tough to muster up the inspiration to outdo yourself when you get stuck in a Liza Minelli phase, and after a while, even the most diehard Marilyn impersonators get sick of whimpering "happy birthday, Mr. President." What these divas look forward to is the annual SAVE Dade Halloween fête, a truly fabulous excuse to outprimp and outdress the competition. Over the past nine years, SAVE Dade's Halloween party has established itself as the definitive thing-to-do for gay and gay-friendly folks in the Magic City. This year, attendees can explore the lost world of Atlantis, a theme that sounds like a surefire excuse for outrageous mermaid-inspired costumes and barely-there swimwear. The founders of SAVE Dade have seen their Halloweenie house party explode into a much-anticipated shindig for more than 2000 revelers. The group has even branched out, garnering corporate sponsors along the way. Bacardi USA will keep the party lubricated with libations and the Doubletree Hotel, which is just steps from the party venue, is offering reduced room rates. A SAVE Dade party wouldn't be the same without regular DJ Q-ban, but this year also promises a surprise superstar behind the turntables. For those who don't manage to win a prize for best costume, there's Poseidon's Pool, where $5 guarantees you a prize, ranging from a complimentary drink to a pair of theater tickets. Ultimately, this bash is designed to raise funds. The SAVE in SAVE Dade stands for Safeguarding American Values for Everyone, and their work is certainly cut out for them in these last days before the election. The money from this decadent gala will be used to advocate equal rights for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. Tickets range from $25 to $85, and can be purchased online at www.halloweenmiami.com. The party starts tonight at 9:00. A 10,000 square foot warehouse space located at 1222 NE 2nd Ave., right behind the soon-to-be completed Performing Arts Center, will be transformed into a dazzling version of the submerged, lost city. Call 305-751-7283. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Key West's naked Halloween
Down in the Caribbean, people understand the need to exorcise demons by stripping almost naked and shutting down city streets for drunken parades. Miami is among few U.S. cities that celebrate island-style Carnival. The Florida Keys bridge the gap between the Caribbean and America, and they put on a bash to match any tropical street festival. At Fantasy Fest, anything goes in the form of a costume, like say a jockstrap fashioned out of duct tape, glued with feathers and strung with dangling beads, or just body glitter and a top hat. Bodies become walking works of art and every pooch and cooch in town is decorated to the hilt. Catcalls of "let me paint your puppies" echo through the streets. Costume contests can get pretty scandalous. This year's theme, Delirious Dreams and Hilarious Screams, should give ample inspiration to those entering the Pretenders in Paradise or best headdress competitions. Key West's own celebration of decadence and bare flesh takes over Duval Street from tonight until Sunday, October 31. For a complete schedule of events call 305-296-1817orvisit www.fantasyfest.net. -- Terra Sullivan
House of Terror is baaaack
Miami is a scary place. So scary, in fact, that the rest of the nation is afraid of us. The next time you're out of town, mention to someone that you live here, then watch them flinch and slowly back away from you. We've grown used to the day-to-day terrors of life here. That's why we crave bigger thrills than the rest of the nation. That's why last year over 100,000 of us went to the House of Terror amusement park. This Halloween, it's bigger and better than ever. Located on the east side of Miami International Mall at 1455 NW 107th Ave., the House of Terror features a huge haunted house, with two acres of rides, games, monster miniature golf, and a concert stage with live music and DJs. The attraction is open seven days a week until Sunday, November 7. It operates from 6:00 p.m. to midnight on weekdays and 5:00 p.m. to midnight on Saturdays and Sundays. For more info call 305-263-1413 or visit houseofterror.com. --Chris de Angelis
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The Monster Mash
Flashy outfits. Fictional folks from storybook land. Sounds perfect for routine Halloween fun, or for some fanciful leaping, skipping, and twirling. That is what professional dancers do when they don the attire of Little Red Riding Hood and her adventurous mates from storybook land, Hansel and Gretel. Momentum Dance Company, a South Florida-based modern dance troupe, is performing the two classic tales -- featuring the wickedly appropriate wolf and witch -- during its Halloween show for children and families. At this event, dressing up for the theater, darling, involves really dressing up. Spectators are encouraged to wear costumes, if they please, so they'll be able to show off their Halloween haberdashery while rockin' out with the pros. After the show, performers invite youngsters onstage with them for a dance party. The festivities kick off at 2:00 p.m. at Manuel Artime Theater, 900 SW First St. Tickets cost $5. Phone 305-858-7002 or check out www.momentumdance.com. -- Patti Roth