Halloween in Vegas
Long before today’s mega-club Halloween costume contests, the city always held costume parties and themed events, such as Helldorado, when everyone in town dressed as cowboys and cowgirls in celebration of our Western roots. Even Liberace broke away from the stereotypical pianist black tuxedo to don his earth-shattering gold lamé jacket on the stage of the Riviera in 1955, opening the door for the even more elaborate costumes of the future. Las Vegans of all ages loved and continue to love dressing up and going to a costume party. What better time to dress up than Halloween?
Featured in this collection of photos are the young and fabulous: a beauty in 1953 wearing a bikini and holding a broomstick and witch’s cap; at the Sahara in 1967, we see the “Queen of Hearts” and her minions, donning decks of cards to complete their royal regalia; today, the annual Halloween festivities in downtown bring out all the witches, wizards and goblins. Oh my!
Brian Paco Alvarez is a Las Vegas native and a graduate from the UNLV Department of Anthropology. He’s the former curator of the Las Vegas News Bureau Photo and Film Archives and currently the art curator, corporate historian and z’boutique buyer for the online company Zappos.com, Inc.