Just when you think that "Rock of Love," the intrepid reality show that attempts to match Poison ex-hunk Bret Michaels with one of a number of mega skanks, is about the lowest form of admittedly addicting entertainment you can find, you see a group of Milwaukeeans dressed as the pathetic lot prancing down the street.
This can mean only one thing. It's Hallowang. Had you forgotten?
Hallowang is a new-ish Milwaukee holiday that happens every year on the last Saturday in April -- the crafty half-way point between any two given Halloweens. Founder House Cat (that's all we know of this man) says he created the holiday on the simple premise that Halloween is just too much fun to celebrate but once a year.
It's brilliant, actually. While Christmas, sweet 16 birthdays and the perfectly glazed Easter ham create more work and stress than they're usually worth, Halloween is about as low-commitment as you can get on the holiday grid. You wear whatever you want, you have some drinks, you have some laughs and there's no gift-giving pressure.
Hallowang's actually been around since 2006, slowly gaining momentum year after year. Last year's celebration gathered more than 50 'wangers to a slew of Walker's Point establishments for costume contests and alcohol consumption.
This year's festivities go down again in Walker's Point on Saturday, April 24 at Walker's Pint, Fat Daddy's and The Fifth Ward Pub.
Shenanigans begin at the Fifth Ward Pub at 8 p.m. with the toss across tourney, a tic tac toe bean bag toss. A 9:30 p.m. quarter catching competition (it'll all be explained, promise) takes place at Walker's Pint and the evening closes with the brawn versus brains olympics at Fat Daddy's at 11 p.m. The famous Fatmobile will be on hand to provide free non-drunk driving from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. After that, cab service is probably a good call.
The night-long costume contest (register at all three bars by midnight) promises prizes in various categories, including famous people, stereotypes & occupations, fictional characters, non-human, team and spectacular.
House Cat says he's been impressed with 'wangers' costume creativity in years past -- Blossom and Joey, a human dartboard and character called "Rodeo Ross" have been huge hits with the judges.
So as superfluous American holidays clog up the calendar, set your sights on the ones that really matter, like your birthday, Memorial Day weekend and Hallowang.
OnMilwaukee.com staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.
As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When OnMilwaukee.com offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”