Wicked Manors was a successful who’s who of Greater Wilton Manors, because the costumes were so fabulous you couldn’t tell who’s who!
The party started at 6 p.m. By 7 p.m. there was about a five-minute line to get in. By 9 p.m. the line stretched a block down The Drive, but the brief wait was worth it. Once inside, scare seekers were greeted by the coolest costume collection in all South Florida.
You could spot Hank Causey and Lou Layton from anywhere on the drive. They were in sprawling, gold lamée outfits with wings that were liable to knock an eye out. Think Priscilla Queen of the Desert meets Wicked Manors.
“When we travel, we like to see the themes of the party,” the Fort Myers couple said.
The main stage was home of the four costume contests, starting with the kids’ contest at 6:30. From there, they got much more adult oriented. Across the way, Alibi had a stage set up with gogo dancers who were feeling every beat.
On Hunters Nightclub’s side of the lot, they were packed to the gills. DJ Will Calder knows how to work a crowd and get them fired up, and fire them up he did.
“It was wonderful to see so many come out in support of The Pride Center and their local businesses,” Hunters’ Bruce Howe said the morning after. “It was a night to remember.”
The party kept going well past the Witching Hour. Officially, Wicked Manors was over at midnight, but bars could keep serving until 2 a.m. Howe says there were still two thousand people in the parking lot when it was time to end the night.
Wicked Manors is the biggest event and fundraiser of the year for The Pride Center, which produced the event.
“We enjoyed a wickedly good night with 30,000 of our closest friends,” Pride Center CEO Robert Boo said. “The monies raised will enable the vital programs and services The Pride Center provides year round — and help the eight other nonprofits who powered our entrances and VIP areas.”
The morning after, Boo acknowledged his exhausted team.
“Today may feel like Day of the Walking Day for the 100s of volunteers, staff, security, and law enforcement who worked the event. But a complex, safe, successful event like Wicked Manors takes an entire community to produce. This includes our generous sponsors who support our diverse communities not just on Halloween, but year round.”