Las Vegas to Celebrate Post-Pandemic Halloween in Hauntingly Big Way

Posted on: October 31, 2022, 07:05h. 

Last updated on: October 31, 2022, 03:59h.

Las Vegas is joining together for Halloween this weekend with a ghostly plethora of adult-focused festivities. Events will culminate Monday night on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown with ghastly fun costume competitions, parties, and concerts.

Three Halloween revelers in costumes at the Freemont Street Experience
Three Halloween revelers in costumes at the Freemont Street Experience in 2021. The costume contest will be held again Monday night. (Image: Freemont Street Experience)

Monday night’s Halloween attractions will include the conclusion of the Rock of Horror Halloweekend celebration at the Fremont Street Experience (FSE). It includes flash mobs and free entertainment. One anticipated FSE event is the spine-chilling costume contest starting at 10 p.m. at the 3rd Street Stage. First prize is $2,500. Second is $1,000, and third is $500.

On the Strip, ’80s band Duran Duran will perform in a Halloween-themed show at 8 pm at the Wynn’s Encore Theater. Classic hits as well as holiday tunes are expected. Concertgoers are encouraged to wear costumes.

Also on the Strip, Gilley’s, a country saloon at Treasure Island, will have a 9:30 p.m. costume contest, with a $500 cash prize for first place. Rebel Heart will perform. Free line dancing lessons begin at 7 p.m. Live music starts at 8:30 p.m.

Nearby, at the Golden Tiki, adult-only trick or treat will take place at 9 p.m. Servers will hand out candy. Costumes are encouraged.

Adult Focus

Many festivities this year focus on activities for adults. That ties into the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s (LVCVA) new marketing initiative to leave kids at home and have adults visit Las Vegas on their own.

Tom Arnold, a business professor at Virginia’s University of Richmond, told that the LVCVA initiative to leave kids at home is an attempt to expand the market. “Halloween is simply perfect from a promotional point of view [for Las Vegas],” Arnold explained. “The holiday has an established theme and it is all about socializing with more than just family.”

Las Vegas is a “fantasy place where people come to relax and get away from their normal life,” Stephen Miller, director of research at UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research, added.

At Halloween, people dress up in character as someone else and they escape from their own self for a few hours,” Miller told “What better place to do that than Vegas?”

He points out that this Halloween, Las Vegas continues to recover from the pandemic recession. Casinos may be looking for ways to leverage the city’s reputation and add events as economic activity approaches pre-pandemic levels, Miller said.

Arnold noted that after the pandemic, Halloween spending nationally recovered quickly, and this year is even expected to increase.

“It is almost like the pandemic was a test for the popularity of Halloween, and the holiday demonstrated that people still love it,” Arnold said.

Halloween is About Entertainment

Why is such a holiday celebrated so much in Las Vegas?

“Las Vegas is a place that shouldn’t exist in the desert,” the Rev. Richard McGowan, a finance professor at Boston College, who closely follows the gambling sector, told “The whole city is geared towards entertainment, and Halloween is the ultimate entertainment holiday,” McGowan said. “I doubt that many in Vegas celebrate All Saints Day on Nov. 1.”