An Evolution

I was looking through old pictures from Halloweens past and… how do I say this? Looking back can give you a lot of perspective.

This is now our tenth year doing a Halloween party, and the mantra is, and always has been, “bigger than the one before”. Decorations became more decorations. Music selection became bigger and better. Food, drinks, and entertainment were expanded and refined. A haunted house was added. Intellectually, I knew that we were always ramping up. I could always feel things getting more and more intense, but it wasn’t until I looked at the old pictures that I realized the extent of it.

This is 2004 – the very first Fort Awesome (predecessor to Camp Awesome) Halloween party. These pictures are at FULL RESOLUTION, probably taken on an ancient flip phone camera. I couldn’t even find any that had decorations in the picture, and I’m not sure there even were any. Some people wore costumes, some didn’t. Clearly, we had much to learn about this whole Halloween business.

2007. Notice how the house still looks like a house? Sure, we had some Freaky Fabric, some cotton spider webs, one or two skulls, and some hanging doo-dads. But this was amateur hour, and a FAR cry from the total transformation we’d eventually be aiming for. While I’m pretty sure everyone had a good time, when I look at the pictures from this first year I notice a lot of people¬†sitting.

2008. OK, we’re starting to get a little better now. This was the debut of 12 Foot Hanging Ghoul AND Brick Wall Decal – both items still in use today. And we started getting more adventurous with the lighting in ’08.¬†

2009. The move to Camp Awesome. By now the annual Halloween party was starting to gain some good traction, and with the added space (not just living space but STORAGE), the party was able to grow like a goldfish moved to a bigger bowl.

Twenty Ten. With one Halloween party under our belts at Camp Awesome, this is when things truly started to get out of hand. Decorations were spreading to more areas of the house. Fewer and fewer natural-colored lights and bare walls were tolerated, but we still had a long way to go…

2011 and 2012 were both great parties, but I think my point becomes more striking if we skip to last year – 2013. Note how it’s hard to find a single part of the house that’s not touched by Halloween in some way. That’s been an unspoken but ongoing mission, and while last year certainly felt like great success, it’s nothing compared to what we have in store for 2014.

I know this post is INCREDIBLY masturbatory, and possibly a little self-aggrandizing, but understand, all this is only possible because awesome people continue to show up, get excited, put together amazing costumes, and otherwise contribute to the madness in so many ways. And certainly my partner, Mrs. Halloween, who doesn’t have nearly enough of a voice on this website I’m afraid, continually pushes the envelope in ways I’d never imagine.

I’m risking the boastful nature of this post only because I’m so excited for this year. For lack of a better term, shit’s going PRO. We are more organized, more energized, and starting earlier than we ever have before by a long shot. We are gonna REMEMBER this Halloween, no doubt about it.

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