Halloweek celebrations return with Upside Down & Arts in the Dark

Halloweek activities will begin October 23 with the 3rd annual UPSIDE DOWN Parade from 12-3 PM in Washington Park and conclude on October 30 with the return of Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade on State Street from 6-8 PM.


Both parades are presented by Mayor Lightfoot and Blommer Chocolate Company and produced by Luma8. Community-focused ‘Halloweek On the Block’ events, additional trick-or-treating, and Halloween- themed programs from the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, and additional City departments and community partners will be offered throughout the week.  

“Throughout this pandemic, we have learned that we can be open and do the things we love while staying safe,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “That is why I am thrilled to kick off our 2021 Halloweek celebration as part of My CHI. My Future. in conjunction with CDPH and our community partners. Beginning October 23, we’re offering a weeklong celebration of trick-or-treating and other activities that our children and families can once again enjoy. As we celebrate this holiday in a reimagined way, I want to remind everyone that this wouldn’t be possible without masking, social distancing, and most importantly vaccinations.”  

Residents can download a HALLOWEEK TOOLKIT complete with safety messaging and signage to notify people they are safely participating in Halloween. We ask people passing out candy to leave a light on or hang a Halloween sign in their windows to let others know their residence is giving out candy safely.  

In addition, CDPH offers specific guidelines on how to celebrate and trick-or-treat safely, including the following: 

  • Masks are recommended for unvaccinated people trick-or-treating outdoors whenever social distancing is not possible 
  • Trick-or-treating groups should remain small, and those trick-or-treating should stay on the move without congregating 
  • People passing out candy must wear a mask, socially distance, and use hand sanitizer while doing so 

“We are so proud of how far our city has come in regards to COVID-19, and we are excited to celebrate Halloween safely once again in 2021,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “We have done a fantastic job as a city mitigating the effects of the Delta variant, and we aim to keep our numbers low as we head deeper into Fall.” The City has several planned events and activities for Halloweek:  

  • The Chicago Park District with support from sponsors Mars Wrigley and Xfinity, the Chicago Police Department, The Chicago Public Library among others will help residents celebrate ‘Halloweek on the Block’ with eleven pop-ups on residential streets throughout Halloweek 
  • The Chicago Park District will host virtual and in-person programming throughout the week from October 23 to October 30, including the Campfire Horror Movie Series. Residents will enjoy Halloween themed treats and giveaways from Mars Wrigley and Xfinity at various events, while supplies last 
  • Blommer Chocolate Company is creating 10,000 Halloween bags filled with candy and other goodies to help Chicagoans celebrate safely, which will be distributed at Halloweek activities and events. There will also be “golden tickets” hidden in select bags. Winners will receive an exclusive 10 lb. Blommer Chocolate bar 
  • Chicago businesses and organizations are asked to visit ChicagoHalloweek.org to register their COVID-safe Halloween activities. Starting on October 8, the website will feature a searchable list of all Halloweek programming happening across the city and will continue to be updated throughout the month of October 
  • Residents are encouraged to upload their Halloween costume pictures on www.chicagohalloweek.org and Instagram for a chance to win a 10-pound Blommer Chocolate bar 

“We are honored to partner with the City of Chicago to bring Halloweek to life, and look forward to showcasing Chicago’s dynamic cultural community with the UPSIDE DOWN Parade in Washington Park on October 23, and the Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade on State Street on October 30,” said Sharene Shariatzadeh, President and CEO of LUMA8.  “By teaming up with the City, presenting sponsors Mayor Lightfoot and Blommer Chocolate Company, as well as Chicago Loop Alliance and William Blair, we believe that these Halloweek events not only will delight local families, they ultimately will draw visitors from around the region and the country.” 

“Blommer Chocolate Company is proud to be a founding sponsor of Halloweek because we are committed to investing in initiatives that elevate the quality of life in the communities that are home to our employees and customers,” said Peter Blommer, President and CEO of Blommer Chocolate Company.  “As the ‘Candy Capital of North America,’ it is only fitting that Chicago should become a focal point during Halloween – and we applaud the City of Chicago for developing a program that is destined to do just that.” 

“Chicago Public Library is looking forward to engaging with youth and families at the community level throughout Halloweek,” said CPL Commissioner Chris Brown. “In addition to our local branch events, we will be present at On the Block locations with the rest of our city partners.” 

“We are thrilled to participate in Halloweek for another year of spooky fun and collaborate with the Mayor of Chicago and First Lady, LUMA8, City departments, sister agencies, and Chicago’s creative community on the UPSIDE DOWN and Arts in the Dark parades — and to celebrate Halloween as the ‘artist’s holiday.’” said DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly

“We’re thrilled to welcome the Arts in the Dark parade back to State Street this year after bringing the celebration to ‘that great street’ from Columbus Drive through our sponsorship beginning in 2018,” said Chicago Loop Alliance President and CEO Michael Edwards. “Our mission is to keep the Loop vibrant and thriving, and events like the Arts in the Dark parade bring the whole city together right here in the heart of it all. We call the Loop everyone’s neighborhood, and events like this demonstrate why.”  

A complete list of updated guidelines and upcoming details can be found at www.ChicagoHalloweek.org.   


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