HighBall Halloween 2021 is heading to the EXPRESS LIVE! outdoor stage on October 23 and will include fan-favorite elements, including live music, the White Castle Costume Couture Fashion Show, and, of course, the Out of the Closet Public Costume Contest. With less than two weeks until the nation’s most elaborate costume party, now’s the time to get creative with an amazing costume. At HighBall, you are what you wear!

Expert Costume Contest Coordinators will conduct preliminary judging of each entrant to determine admission into the contest, as well as placement into a specific category, by ensuring costumes fit within these criteria:

  • Costumes should be attention-capturing and scream excitement, artistry, and imagination
  • Costumes should be creative, well-executed, bold, and visually stunning
  • Costumes must fit within one of the costume categories*
  • Costumes that are too minimalist, offensive, vulgar, and/or store-bought will not be permitted entrance


HighBall Horror Story

Looking like revenge this Halloween season? Show us your wicked or your creepy and make the judges scream in your most terrifying looks to take home the bragging rights of Scariest Costume.

Life Imitates Art

Pay homage to the greats, whether it be works of art, fine artists, music, theater, movies, comics, TV shows, etc. 

Squad Goals

Grab your friends, family, or co-workers and dress to impress for Best Group Costume. Groups of three individuals and up.

Dynamic Duo

Scooby and Shaggy, Thelma and Louise, Jay and Silent Bob, Jack and Rose — it takes two to tango… and compete in this category. Groups of two only.


Is that really a costume? What are you supposed to be? Compete for this year’s Most Humorous/Unexpected Costume.

Preliminary judging and entrant selection will occur until 7:45 PM. Accepted entrants must complete a Google Form to receive a Contestant wristband. Once completed, Contestants are free to enjoy the festivities. At 8 PM, approved contestants must report to the Out of the Closet Public Costume Contest Staging Area (a handout with directions on where to go will be provided.)

Prizes for each category are $100 checks, to be sent via regular mail, or available for pickup at the Short North Alliance offices, on or about 10/29/2021. Prize checks not claimed within one month of the event will be forfeited.

*No more than 12 contestants for each category will be selected to compete.

Please review the Weapons & Props policy before entering the HighBall Halloween event site.