HighBall Halloween

Jim Fischer

There's always plenty to see and do at HighBall, and the 2016 edition will be no different, what with the high-end fashion show, live music, the raddest of arts…

But at its heart, HighBall is a party, as you already knew, and the ultimate HighBall experience is to be had at street level. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 costumed revelers will have that effect. So, no pressure, but you make the party at HighBall.

"The HighBall Halloween street spectacle is often even more exciting than the main stage programming. In addition to the countless street performers and artists that showcase themselves on High Street throughout the event, the attendees themselves are what many find to be the biggest attraction," Short North Alliance Executive Director Betsy Pandora said.

Pandora said both nights will feature a costume contest (note, all of Friday's activities have a David Bowie theme), and Johnny DiLoretto will be in the streets both nights hosting the Gateway Costume Cam. So, yeah, the Costume Couture Show, Saturday's main event featuring the work of seven fabulous designers, is always a HighBall highlight, but you've got a chance to be the center of attention all party long.

Costume novices, undecideds and last-minute attendees are in luck, as the Columbus Museum of Art Center for Creativity and Salon Lofts will be on hand to help via the DIY Costume Tent and the Orange Room Public Makeup Tent, respectively.

Salon Lofts Creative Director of Marketing Candy Hopkins said makeup artists will offer four distinct Bowie looks on Friday - you'll want to look your best for Bowie Karaoke - and six "boo-tiful" looks on Saturday.

"We can do our full, defined looks, or if someone has a costume they want to do and just need some makeup to augment it, we'll do that," Hopkins said. "We can … enhance someone's costume with something as simple as some color or sparkle."

Makeup in the Orange Room Tent is available for a $10 donation to the Short North Alliance.

HighBall does have street-level entertainment as well, courtesy of Catrin and Catrina Puppets and the Amazing Giants.

The Giants are making their fifth appearance at HighBall this year, with two stilt walkers and a bubble ball down on the street mingling with the masses.

"Everybody's in costume, so it's always fun for us since we're typically in costume too," Amazing Giants' Jessie Jem said. "The interaction is what makes it fun for us. We're used to being the only ones dressed up, so it's fun to interact with people who are in their different characters. It's an environment where anything goes. It's total sensory overload."

So by all means, check out the Costume Couture Show (why miss an opportunity to be entertained by Nina West?), and dig Robert DeLong and the rest of the live music lineup, but remember that you're literally the life of this party.

"I think what makes HighBall so special is that everyone gets to be part of the show," Pandora said. "They don't have to be on stage to be an attraction. They just have to be on High Street."

NOTE: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect starting time for the event on Saturday.

HighBall Halloween

6 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21 and 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22

High Street, between Goodale Street and Nationwide Boulevard