Halloween is the second most expensive holiday, only after Christmas. Surprising, no? But when you factor in the elaborate costumes, makeup, gallons of candy given out, it all adds up. Then consider the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on a number of star-studded, over-the-top masquerades and costume balls that take place on Halloween night, or just before, every year from LA to New York City, and it all makes sense. So you can see for yourself, we’ve rounded up seven of the most lavish Halloween celebrations around the country — some of which still even have tickets for this year’s event, if you’ve got your checkbook in hand.
Just as you like to dress up and scare friends on Halloween, so too does Hollywood. Many of these spooky bashes, like the ever popular Haunted Ball in San Francisco, Project Runway's Heidi Klum's signature costume party, or Kate Hudson’s annual star-studded bash at her LA-area home are purely for fun, a chance for guests to dress up to the nines and head out for an unforgettable night out on the town. Others, like the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation’s Dream Halloween party hosted by Jamie Lee Curtis are grand galas with good food and music that raise millions of dollars for the hosting organization — without forgetting to tend to even the smallest detail.
Consider Bette Midler’s 2008 Hulaween Gala at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel to benefit her nonprofit New York Restoration Project, as an example. The renowned entertainer didn’t stop with a “D-List” routine from Emmy award-winning comedian Kathy Griffin, or a concert by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, for that matter. Oh no. She invited not one, not two, but eight well-known New York chefs, like David Chang and Tom Colicchio, to specially prepare one of their signatures during the cocktail hour to delight guests like Pink, Jimmy Buffet, and Martha Stewart. And Midler’s at it again this year, hosting her annual event on the 28th of October in New York City, with a “Dia de Los Muertos” mole- and margarita-studded menu by Frontera Grill chef Rick Bayless, and with New York Knicks player Carmelo Anthony by her side. Will you be there?