It’s going to get wild – and a little spooky – in downtown San Diego this Saturday as costumed revelers take over the streets for the annual Halloween block party known as "Monster Bash."
Now in its 17th year, the 21+ bash runs from 6 p.m. to midnight and spans eight city blocks across downtown. It's billed as one of Southern California's biggest Halloween events, typically drawing large crowds in costumes.
This year’s party will feature five main stages of entertainment including performances from nearly two dozen DJs.
The annual high-stakes costume contest is back, too, which promises $5,000 in cash and prizes to those in the most creative get-ups. The grand prize winner takes home $2,500, second place wins $1,313, and third place wins $666. Three honorable mentions will win $100 each, while four less-honorable mentions will win $50.
This year, for the first time, costumes will be judged throughout the night, with the final round starting at 11 p.m. Those who wish to enter the contest must sign up ahead of time online. So far, the Monster Bash website shows costumes like Pennywise, the creepy clown from "It," on the list of contestants, as well as Selena and Gremlins.
For around $55, general admission tickets include access to four themed stages and drink specials and no-cover at 25 bars around the Gaslamp Quarter and East Village. VIP passes, which include access to five themed stages and eight drinks at places like Coyote Ugly Saloon, Dublin Square and East Village Tavern + Bowl cost $95 in advance.
Given the crowds at Monster Bash, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) will offer expanded, late-night trolley service departing from downtown during the event.
To get to Monster Bash without worrying about parking, MTS says to take one of two stations close to the Main Entrance of Monster Bash: UC San Diego Blue Line or Orange Line. Attendees in South Bay, Chula Vista or National City can take the northbound UC San Diego Blue Line to 5th Avenue. SDSU, Qualcomm Stadium, Mission Valley and Old Town attendees can ride the westbound Green Line to the Gaslamp Quarter Station.
The main entrance to Monster Bash is at 8th Avenue and Market Street, and both 5th Avenue and Gaslamp Quarter trolley stations are located about seven blocks away.
Those who opt to drive can get to the event from north Interstate 5 by exiting on 10th avenue until reaching Market Street and making a right turn to arrive at the main entrance to Monster Bash, on the left-hand side of 8th Avenue. Ride-sharing services are also good ways to get to Monster Bash.
For the full line-up of DJs, entertainment, and participating restaurants at San Diego’s 2017 Monsters Bash, visit the event website. If the clock strikes midnight and you still want to dance some more, special VIP guest Juicy J will host an after-party at Fluxx nightclub; tickets are $25.