The up-and-coming and vibrant culture of the Uptown Arts District came to life for Michigan City Mainstreet Association’s Flame and Flair Halloween Festival.
Consistently proven to be among the most memorable and enjoyable of the Halloween festivities in La Porte County, the Flame and Flair Halloween Festival gathers the community to share in treats, scares, and celebration.
“We’re excited to be doing this since 2013,” Abby May, Secretary of the Board at Michigan City Mainstreet Association, said. “We host the Flame and Flair Festival to make sure that at least once a year we have a family-friendly festival that is not just accommodating for kids, but catered and centered around the kids.”
For the Mainstreet Association, the Flame and Flair Halloween Festival was the perfect opportunity to introduce children of Michigan City to the Uptown Arts District (UAD).
“We want kids from a really young age to start to come to the UAD and have a positive experience,” May said, “so they start to feel that this is their Uptown Arts District and that this is their Michigan City. We want kids to feel that they are a part of all the exciting celebrations that go on. There’s nothing more fun for a kid than a shutdown street, trick-or-treating, and fire dancers.”
All were welcome to enjoy in the fun. Families flooded the streets, and costumed little ones filled their bags with goodies from the downtown businesses.
“The kids love it,” Howard Lewis of Fiddlehead Restaurant said. Alongside coworkers, Lewis represented Fiddlehead in the UAD trick-or-treating event. “They love coming up to us. It’s a great thing to be a part of.”
As pirates, princesses, goblins, and ghouls trick-or-treated from one business to the next, families enjoyed the storefront decorations and lighted trees of Michigan City.
Friends gathered close as they crept through the display at Artspace Uptown Artist Loft. Crowds appreciated the themed front gallery, complete with fantasy decorations built from discarded products. The back section of the gallery, however, took a spookier turn.
For the braver patrons, the haunted house in the back of Artspace Uptown Artist Loft offered scares and screams. After families made their way through the haunted house, the decorations continued through the side alley.
“We joined in this event for our love of Halloween,” Zahra Khan, Event Coordinator and Gallery Curator of Artspace Uptown Artist Loft, said. “We wanted to give back to the community and to use the hallway spaces for trick-or-treating. This is our third year annually that we are doing it. We are very excited to have everyone come in. It’s an amazing experience.”
“It’s such a nice collaboration for us,” May said of working with the Artspace Uptown Artist Loft. “We love that we were able to partner with them to hold our events and maximize the community partnerships. We are so thankful that Artspace is here and using their talents to enhance the experience in the UAD.”
As the sun went down, the entertainment kicked it up a notch with live performances by local fire dancers. The community marveled in excitement at the live fire dancing performances. Lighting the street with the glow of the flames, performers spun, threw, and nearly missed the flaming batons. The mesmerizing performances featured three different groups, Pyrotechniq, Medusa, and Knotty Bits.
As a winner of the Rose Award for Best Festival in Michigan City, the Flame and Flair Festival brought smiles to the over 1,000 attendees. The event showcased both the distinctive artistic atmosphere and community that Michigan City has to offer the Region while allowing families and friends to come together with the local businesses for an exciting, memorable, and spooky night.
To learn more about the Michigan City Mainstreet Association and the Uptown Arts District, please visit www.theuptownartsdistrict.com.