HighBall sets to up the ante on parties past

If you haven't started working on your costume for HighBall, you'd better get off your butt. Columbus' own Halloween extravaganza is slated for Oct. 24-25, and is set to be the fiercest in the event's 7 year history.

The Short North Alliance has partnered with global event producers IM Creative to take the already over-the-top, fashion-as-fantasy event to the next level. In addition to the new tagline "You are what you wear," here are some new features you can expect at this year's bash:

HighBall Headquarters (HBHQ), a pop-up space funded by the Create Columbus Commission located at 1127 N. High Street that will serve as part young-professional social space, part shopping experience, and part educational community center which opens before the event at Gallery Hop on October 4th and closes after the event on November 3rd. HighBall: On The Rocks, Local bands and one national headliner will performing original and cover sets. This year's inaugural theme is THE BIG 80's. Band line up will be announced in early September. Attendees are encouraged to rock their gnarliest look from the 1980s. The 7th Annual Costume Couture Fashion Show, Shiree Houf & Ashley Willis, Aaron James, Isolde Marie Meade, Lyndsey Merryman, Olivia Mitchell and Todd Perkins, Horatio Nieto, Ira Tecson & Lauren Primm, and Bryston Walters will all put together next-level collections to showcase. When it comes to costumes, bring out the big guns for this one. National Endowment for the Arts funded Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead programming planned in partnership with local non-profit Global Gallery that will include experiential and costumed tributes to the Latino tradition of honoring loved ones who have passed. HighBall Runway Run, a timed and costumed 5K that starts and ends at Highball on Saturday evening, Cross the finish line on our runway stage at the nation's fiercest costume party. $50 VIP Packages available for Friday and Saturday night, offering exclusive stage-side views, warm tents, private bars, indoor bathrooms and more.