Costumes, Creativity, and Cash Prizes: BVI Halloween Fun

Halloween is all about unleashing your creativity and having an absolute blast, and here in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), you can even snag a sweet $300 prize for the spookiest getup at Bamboushay on Sunday! This year, Halloween falls on a Tuesday, but the real fiesta is going down on Full Moon Saturday, the 28th, and Sunday the 29th because who wants to wait until Tuesday, right?

Halloween at our place was always a riot. It was a time for family and friends to gather ’round, get their creative juices flowing, and have a ton of fun. You see, my parents were a pair of artistic powerhouses. My dad was a jack-of-all-trades – a producer, director, and actor, while my mom excelled in painting, writing, and acting. Our house doubled as a fifty-seat, off-off-off Broadway theater, and it felt like every single person we knew would flock to our place for Halloween.

We grew up in Greenwich Village, the creative heart of lower Manhattan in New York City, USA. Our neighborhood was a hub for artists and free spirits, and just a few blocks away, a massive Halloween Parade shook the streets every year. Folks from all corners of New York and even the whole world flocked to this grand event. From solo costumes to colossal team floats, Halloween in Greenwich Village was an unparalleled extravaganza.

The Author in Costume, face painted by her mother, Artist Aileen Malcolm

My parents would throw a Halloween bash, welcoming friends to pop in and out before, during, and after the parade. Us, the five children, were on decoration and costume duty. There was no running to the store for pre-made stuff in our house. Nope, we had to rely on our imagination and whatever odds and ends we could lay our hands on. For weeks, sometimes even months leading up to Halloween, we’d scour closets and storage spaces for anything usable.

BVI Born Artist OOB mask making

Of course, we had a ginormous, old trunk filled to the brim with costumes, props, stage bling, and makeup we’d collected over the years. This treasure chest was dragged out for the party and placed prominently in the hallway. Any guest who dared show up without a costume had to face the stern, yet welcoming, gaze of my mom. She’d greet them with a smile and a hug, but if they weren’t dressed up, they were in for it. Mom would point firmly at the trunk, insisting they find a costume immediately, and then she’d march them to the bathroom for a little makeover magic, courtesy of her incredible painting skills. No one entered the party empty-handed, that’s for sure!

Full Moon Saturday 28th, and Sunday the 29th October has big parties in the BVI. Some of the parties include Saturday Fun Day Kids Halloween at Loose Mongoose; Spooky Paint & Sip at Brandywine; Trick or Treat Event at the Pier Park; Full Moon Halloween Masquerade Ball at Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke; Moko Jumbies and Fire Dancers at Trellis Bay Market & Grill; Mask-Up Masquerade at MoonStone Night Club; Bamboushay Halloween Party with $300. Prize for best costume and lots of games and other prizes to be won. For more events and all details check out

Artist OOB in Costume

Now, you might be wondering how to whip up some last-minute decorations and a killer costume for this weekend. Well, first, figure out who or what you want to be. Next, raid your closets and storage spaces for any clothes, fabrics, or crafty materials you can repurpose. Thrift stores like The Red Cross, Fabulous Finds, and L&L are goldmines for quirky and budget-friendly finds. And if you need a helping hand, swing by TolaIndo in Carrot Bay, where creative possibilities for every occasion, Halloween included, are waiting to be discovered. Who knows, your Halloween costume could be the one that nabs you that sweet $300 prize this Sunday at Bamboushay! Get ready to bring your A-game!

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