Dressed Up with Nowhere to Go: The Downtown Amherst Bars on Halloween

By Allie Connell

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Which weekend are we celebrating Halloween?

It’s simple: both.

Why limit this excuse to wear those old high-waisted leather pants your mom wore in the 80’s or your tie-dyed onesie? We don’t need a Florida recount backing our decision to celebrate Halloween from one Thursday to the next.

If you’re 21 or older, and looking for something to do on Halloween itself or those pesky weekdays around it, here’s a short itinerary for what the downtown Amherst bars are up to:

The Pub’s HBO Halloween Party, Tuesday at 10 p.m.

This Eve of Halloween event has no cover charge, a DJ and dance floor and an opportunity to win a $150 American Express gift card, awarded to the individual with the best HBO themed costume. They will also be raffling off DVD box sets of the networks best series, T-shirts and other knick-knacks sporting the HBO label.

Since many of us are poor college students and can’t afford the luxury of an HBO subscription, some costume ideas for the more popular characters on the network include dressing as a quirky twenty-something metropolitan-chic girl with a notebook for jotting down your memoirs (“Girls”), or find some cheap vampire fangs, smear red lipstick all over your mouth area and mutter in the Vampire language – it’s Swedish, in case you were curious (“True Blood”).

The Harp’s Pub Trivia, Tuesday at 9 p.m.

A weekly staple on the Amherst bar scene, Pub Trivia at The Harp is educational, entertaining and makes you wish you could remember all those things you learned in high school. Bring a team of five or less with a variety of interests, a pitcher or three of Narragansett and settle in for a stimulating evening of questions you’re sure you knew once.

McMurphy’s Guitar Dudes and Costume Contest, Wednesday at 10 p.m.

How excited are we that Halloween is on a Wednesday this year and the Guitar Dudes will be rocking McMurphy’s Pub?

Quite.

Plus, McMurphy’s will be having a costume contest that night with bar gift certificates for the best costumes, which is basically like a cash prize because what were you going to spend your winnings on anyway? Textbooks?

Stacker’s Costume Contest, Wednesday at 10 p.m.

So, your “True Blood” costume didn’t go over great at The Pub on Tuesday and your Honey Boo Boo wasn’t a hit at McMurphy’s, head over to Stacker’s for yet another opportunity to strut your stuff for potential prizes. Again, you’re competing for bar gift cards and bragging rights.

Monkey Bar “Monkey Themed” Costume Contest, Wednesday at 10 p.m.

Apparently everyone is already aware that the Monkey Bar is the place to be on Halloween. There will be a variety of costume contests including: best costume, best couples costume and best monkey themed costume. The prizes are cash and a bottle of some kind of expensive alcohol.

The following bars aren’t doing anything in particular for Halloween – or they haven’t figured out a costume theme related to their bar name – but are included on this list in case there is a lull in your Halloween week festivities:

High Horse

Grab your oversized glasses with non-prescription lenses, tuck an American Spirit cigarette behind your ear and join the constant hipster costume contest at the High Horse. This week, the High Horse will be classy as always, sporting delicious craft beers on tap and instructing you not to be a “boozehound” and order a Long Island Iced Tea.

Panda East

Panda East will still be serving its famous Scorpion Bowls this week as always. Bring a friend but make sure that you get the shot of 151 off the top before they do. This should give you enough libation inspiration to figure out another costume for the week’s festivities.

The Spoke

Costume options for a night at The Spoke involve, but are not limited to: Bruins jersey, Patriots jersey, Sox shirt, Celtics t-shirt or UMass sports attire.

Complete your outfit with a pitcher of Bud Light or Rolling Rock and play a round of pool to completely convey your character choice.

Remember that if you are from out of state, you will need approximately 79 – but actually two – forms of photo ID to get into these establishments. No one wants you to have to stand outside in your slutty Elizabeth Warren costume with nowhere to go.

Allie Connell can be reached at [email protected]