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Hallowynwood Organizers Promise An Artsy Alternative to South Beach's Crowded Halloween Scene

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Nothing is spookier than a flock of hipsters wearing ironic costumes, and anyway, Nicole McCauley says, the South Beach scene is dying. This year's big, fun events are moving back west, over Biscayne Bay, to the home of the Miami hipster, Wynwood.

What a perfect place to throw a Halloween party, she thought, and Hallowynwood was born.

Art Basel inspired Hallowynwood; McCauley loved to see Miami's creatives come out to play, and she wanted to keep that creative spirit of Art Basel alive throughout the year. "With Wynwood changing the way it's changing, we were all like, 'wow, we need to do more events with that art walk vibe.'" She wanted to throw a party, which she calls "collaborative collective event," in the spirit of Art Basel.

Hallowynwood is all fun and games, but McCauley's reason for starting it is much more serious. She wants to foster a sense of community in Miami that she doesn't believe yet exists. "We might have a chance to create the city we desire, rather than to create big business," she says.

In that spirit, Wynwood was the obvious neighborhood in which to hold the art show, music festival, and vendor-laden event. "It's a place where people can be and create and grow," McCauley says.

McCauley, who's lived in Miami for over 20 years, frets that the city doesn't have enough festivals and community events, and she hopes Hallowynwood will become an annual celebration. October is a particularly quiet month, she says. McCauley's party wouldn't be a South Beach-inspired booze fest, but a more cultured event at the Armory Studios with art and music, an event for all ages.

So while Halloween gets messy in South Beach, Hallowynwood will be a civilized enough event for people of all ages. The festival boasts a long lineup of musicians, including the hottest bands coming out of Wynwood. Fortune tellers and candy sellers, hawking caramel apples and cotton candy, be will in boothes nestled amongst the gypsy jewelry stalls.

Kids, you're on notice: Bring your trick-or-treating pumpkin and throughout the evening collect candied goods.

For anyone deterred by a family atmosphere, fear not. As they do, families will come early and leave early, and then the adult crowd will get going. The costume contest winner will be announced at 10 p.m. between two big musical acts. And yes, adults, there will be booze.

To have a little fun on Halloween without braving South Beach, its streets dripping with sloshed girls and year-round Jersey Shore look-alike boys, go to Wynwood. Dress up. Enter the costume contest when you arrive. Eat too much candy. Dance. And enjoy a good old time in Miami's burgeoning art district.

The event gets going at 6 p.m. Saturday and winds down by midnight. Visit hallowynwood.com.

--Anna Hiatt

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.

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