Athens, Georgia, is a culturally rich destination located in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains that is home to the state’s flagship public research university (University of Georgia) and plenty of popular events and attractions for all interests. The Wild Rumpus Parade & Spectacle is returning for its eighth year in 2016 with at least 7,500 people expected in attendance. It's one of the leading Halloween celebrations in the region featuring vibrant costumes, live music, parties, an art show, and much more. On the last day of the event, attendees will get to enjoy the crowning jewel: the parade. It’s filled with vibrant displays and floats that illuminate the night and create a one-of-a-kind Halloween experience. We got the opportunity to speak to Event Director Timi Conley to talk about this unique Halloween celebration.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
TC: The Wild Rumpus Parade & Spectacle is in its 8th year, bringing fun, creativity, and celebration to Athens while benefitting a regional 501c3 Non-Profit Partner.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw and who are they demographically?
TC: I expect 7,500-10,000 in attendance this year. The Wild Rumpus brings out the weird in everyone. You'll see grandparents, families with children, teens, college students, artists, and musicians. It’s a wildly diverse cross section of our Southeast culture.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
TC: Athens itself makes this event unique, along with the mission statement of the Wild Rumpus. The city is known internationally for its DIY ethos and highly creative, experimental art culture. The ease of life here and friendly spirit plays host to an outgoing sense of fun, youthful zeal, and laid-back homemade approach. The thousands of costumes you see are imaginative and colorful to say the least. People go all out making their own every year!
RAL: Take me through the activities.
TC: Here is the full schedule of events:
Thurs. Oct. 27, 5:00 pm-8:00 pm:
Wild Rumpus Halloween Kickoff Party at Creature Comforts Brewery Feat. Pylon Reenactment Society, Powerkompany, DJ See. Creature Comforts is an official Wild Rumpus Partner in 2016
Wild Rumpus Art Show featuring this year's Wild Thing painting by Timi Conley!
Friday, October 28, Noon-3:00 pm:
The Monster Mash Halloween Party for Families and Young People at The Foundry.
Spooky Haunted House
Live music from young local artists
Aerial trapeze performance
Rumpus shaker making
Mini-Rumpus for the smaller “Beasts”/ All Ages / $5 for ages 6-12, $7 for ages 13+, Free for kids five and under
Saturday, October 29 - The Big Event:
6:00 pm-8:30 pm - The Pre-Party / Parade Meetup - at Live Wire Athens / Hull St. between Dougherty and W. Hancock. FREE for all, 21+ to enter the venue.
8:30 pm - The Wild Rumpus Parade & Spectacle takes place right in downtown Athens. Following the parade is a massive dance party in the street on College Avenue in front of City Hall. It's free for all and makes sure to wear a costume to be in the parade. Floats and vehicles must be registered; please email email@example.com to register.
10:00 pm-2:00 am - The Official After Party Feat. Charles Bradley with special guests, Timi and Wonderland Rangers, at Georgia Theatre / Ages 18+ / $20-$25
Tickets are available here.
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
TC: Come to Athens for the Wild Rumpus and spend a few days sinking into our fun, laid back culture with our internationally recognized coffee and cuisine! Must-experience places include DePalma's Italian Café, The Grill, Amici Café, Barberitos Mexican, and Taziki's.
RAL: What is the environment like?
TC: There is no other night in Athens like Wild Rumpus Parade & Spectacle... It's an amazing experience that transforms downtown Athens into a swirling world of color and sound. By day, lots of outdoor cafe-style eateries and bars make this town super-fun for hanging out and enjoying life.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
TC: Athens is home to some fantastic hotels. Hotel Indigo has beautiful modern stylings and LEEDs certified sustainable mindset, placing it at the top of the list. The Graduate Hotel is another excellent choice, and The Monster Mash Kids' Rumpus Party is hosted at the hotel's venue, The Foundry!
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?
TC: Hotel Indigo is doing a discounted block rate for Wild Rumpus fans on Saturday, October 29th. To enjoy this event in most fantastic style, follow these instructions!!!:
Call the hotel directly, reference: "Wild Rumpus": 706-546-0430
Use this booking link, click "Book Now," input the date, 10.29.16 and click book
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
TC: Thousands attend the Wild Rumpus, bringing people to the celebrations from local, nearby, regional and international places. Folks come downtown for the parade and enjoy dinner and drinks with friends and family, and it's one of the three biggest nights of the year for the city.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community? (School funds, etc.)
TC: Each year, the Wild Rumpus partners with a 501c3 non-profit. This year, it's Georgia River Network. For the past seven years, The Rumpus has given profits from sponsorships to locally-based organizations doing important work for the community. Recipients include Nuçi's Space, Athens Land Trust, Community Connection, The Institute for Wild Intelligence, and more.
For more information about The Wild Rumpus Parade & Spectacle, please visit their website.