INDIANAPOLIS — Over the past 75 years, Irvington has become synonymous with Halloween, however, it has been two years since the neighborhood was able to successfully host their famous Halloween festival.
“2019 was terrible, and then 2020 was more terrible,” said Nancy Lynch who lives in the neighborhood and is known for her Halloween home decorations. “We didn’t think it could get anymore terrible, but it did.”
The 2019 festival was washed out by rain, and 2020 was cancelled due to COVID. The majority of events are back for the festival. This includes the famous street fair, which is Irvington’s marquee event.
“Two years ago, IMPD told us we had 60,000 people at our event,” said Halloween Festival planner Manuel Aguilar. “We are having a battle of the bands again this year. Colts will be here again this year, as they got rained out two years ago. There’s lots of people in the neighborhood that are excited about it that still don’t think it is going on, but the Irvington Halloween Festival is going on.”
Some events have already begun, but the next larger event is the Spooky Organ Concert on October 24. You can find a list of the events here. Last year saw a record number of homes enter the Halloween decoration contest.
For 2020, Lynch went viral with her creations. She turned her home into a popular meme. It was a subliminal knock on the hardships of 2020. The joke drew the eyes of onlookers on a daily basis.
“We had no idea it was going to do that,” laughed Lynch. “All hours of the day and night, flash bulbs [of cameras] in our yard. It’s weird.”
This year she turned her yard into a “man eating” garden. You can find a humorous interview with her talking about it below.
The festival is also a major financial draw for area businesses. The shops and restaurants count on the enhanced foot traffic to generate dependable yearly revenue.
“Busiest day of the year at any of our three restaurants. We sell slices out front and the restaurant is open,” said Mick McGrath, co-owner of Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza. “It’s our Mardi Gras. It gets to the point that it is more than our kitchen can handle. It kind of makes, not our year, but the fourth quarter.”