214. McGonigal’s Pub Party & Halloween’s Celtic Roots

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Halloween’s origins date back more than 2,000 years and are traced to the ancient Celtic New Year Celebration in Europe, called Samhain, on November 1st. On Samhain eve, now called Halloween, spirits were thought to walk the earth as they traveled to the afterlife surrounded by demons, fairies and other creatures.*  American Folklife Center records at the US Library of Congress say Celts often wore costumes and masks to confuse spirits and avoid being possessed.

Celebrating the Celtic Origins of Halloween

Samhain (SAH-win) is an Old Irish word that translates roughly as “summers end”. This painting, by Irish artist Daniel Maclise, is called Snap-Apple Night.  It dates back to 1832 and depicts a Halloween party in Blarney, Ireland with children bobbing for apples and adults playing divination games.

Irish Halloween Party Painting from 1832

So it’s fitting that one of the biggest bashes in Barrington this Halloween weekend is going down TONIGHT, October 30th, at McGonigal’s Irish Pub.

McGonigal’s first annual Halloween party starts at 7PM and will last until about 1AM.  Costumes are encouraged, but not required and there will be cash prizes at midnight for the best dressed.  They’re featuring a special performance by The Outbreaks playing the entire album of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” along with several other acts.  It’s a FREE show on McGonigal’s second level and it starts tonight at 9PM.

Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon Performance at McGonigal's Pub Halloween Party

Park Avenue Wine Bar’s club DJ, Ben Magart, will be playing some hauntingly great dance music on the mezzanine overlooking the main level for tonight’s party. They have great drink specials planned and they’ll be giving away t-shirts, glassware and other Halloween-themed prizes. So get dressed up and come on down to McGonigal’s for an adult serving of some scary Halloween fun.

Costumes, Prizes, Live Music and Dancing at McGonigal's Pub Halloween Party

McGonigal’s Pub is at 105 South Cook Street, at the corner of Cook and Main (Lake Cook Road).  They’re expecting a great crowd tonight and they say it’s a good idea to come early. Please keep in mind that this is an adult event, so you must be 21 to get into the party.  For more details, including drink specials, visit their website at McGonigalsPub.com. I’ll leave you with a quick video from an Oubreaks concert in the Chicago to help get you in the mood for tonight’s LIVE show.

(Mask Image c/o Marc Tremblay on Flickr)

For source information, visit NationalGeographic.com and Wikipedia.org

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