Arts preview: Highball turns 10

Jim Fischer
Columbus Alive
Highball 2016

Given that HighBall Halloween is already the city's most massive costume/fashion/music/art party, how much bigger could it get for this year's 10th anniversary edition?

The answer would seem to be “a lot.”

“We decided to blow it all out, to embrace 10 and embrace Columbus,” Short North Alliance Executive Director Betsy Pandora said.

1) Bigger IS better

High Street will still be closed from Vine Street up to Goodale Boulevard, but this year the party extends east on Goodale to the new Greater Columbus Convention Center parking garage. The new, larger footprint also includes a surface lot on Goodale that will be transformed into Spectacle Park, complete with a second entertainment stage and a cool, interactive art installation titled “Entangled,” created by local collective OBLSK. In all, the added space about doubles the physical size of HighBall.

2) Decade(s)

Two stages, 10 Columbus bands, each dressed to celebrate artists representing a particular decade of modern music. Friday is music day at HighBall Halloween, and the shows get underway at 6:15 p.m. at both the main stage, where Liberty Deep Down will perform as *NSync, and the second stage, where Joey Hebdo will perform as Queen. The highlight should be Doc Robinson as the Beatles at 11 p.m. on the main stage. Other acts will pay homage to Madonna, Beyonce, Amy Winehouse and more.

3) Fashion history

In addition to a 10th annual Costume Couture Fashion Show (held Saturday night), HighBall will celebrate past winners of the event with a special runway show featuring all nine winning designs. (Suzanne Cotton from CCAD and a couple past winning designers have helped recreate and renovate as needed.)

4) Debut

This year's fashion show will feature awesome Columbus designer Celeste Malvar-Stewart for the first time. The vanguard designer had worked HighBall with friends in support of their designs, but hadn't thought to enter her own work until this year. “It's a tribute to anyone and everyone who's lost someone,” said Malvar-Stewart, whose father passed away this past spring, adding that her design has an ethereal feel that ties to the traditional All Saints Day observation. “To commemorate my dad in a way that thousands will see and people could be moved by … I would have done the work in any case, but being lucky enough to be accepted to HighBall gave it that much more of a purpose.”

5) Go West

Nine West performs and hosts the fashion show. Does this require elaboration?

6 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22

High Street in the Short North