BOYSTOWN — It's time to start brainstorming for Halloween — and think circus.
The 17th annual Halloween on Halsted parade's theme is "Twisted Circus," meaning a slew of sword swallowers, bearded ladies and clowns could be marching through Boystown this Oct. 31. Anybody can dress up and march in the parade organized by the Northalsted Business Alliance.
Plus, good news for those who go hardcore with costumes: The parade will start at 8 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. this year to give people more time to dress up and register, said Jay Lyons, the business alliance's executive director.
A registration table will be stationed at Belmont and Halsted, where the parade will start, Lyons said. Marchers will then head north to Addison.
"We’re just going to give a little bit of extra time for people to get home from work, get their costumes on, get to the site and register and still be part of the parade," he said.
Last year, the parade went south after starting at Addison, but the group decided to change the parade route back to the old way in order to streamline the event. Organizers also previously threw around the idea of turning the parade into a street party due to costs and a rush for attendees to register but decided to keep the parade's classic format.
Costume contest categories include drag, group, original, scariest and pet.
And for the kids, the Space Park Spooktacular will return as well. The children's Halloween event will be at Space Park, 815 W. Roscoe St., from noon to 3 p.m on Oct. 27, the Sunday before the parade, with games and prizes for tots.
"I'm amazed by what some people come up with," Lyons sad. "The concept is great, and then they actually execute it. It's unbelievable."