Free Halloween Parade in Chicago

Come on out with friends and enjoy a FREE Arts in the Dark magical evening parade on October 20th that delights the audience with unique floats, spectacle puppets and creative performances. Now in its 4th year, the parade is MOVING to STATE STREET. It will begin at Lake Street and move south to Van Buren.



Arts in the Dark is a magical evening parade that celebrates Halloween as the “artist’s holiday”.   The event draws together world-renowned institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago, celebrated Chicago organizations like Lookingglass Theatre Company, important programs like After School Matters and aspiring artists in every field.  Now in its fourth year, this extraordinary parade has delighted hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors with unique floats, spectacle puppets and creative performances that are exceptionally dramatic set against the backdrop of Chicago’s majestic skyline.

The vision for Arts in the Dark was created by Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Commissioner Mark Kelly, and is produced by LUMA8, an independent not for profit, in partnership with DCASE and the Chicago Park District.   Arts in the Dark takes place on Saturday, October 20th from 6pm-8pm on State moving south from Lake to Van Buren.


This event is free and open to the public.

More info ➜

Halloween Parade – Free
DATE;  20 OCTOBER 2018
TIME:  18:00 – 20:00


Arts in the Dark After Parties

Millennium Park Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”), hosted by DCASE

7:30 PM – 9:30 PM Following the Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade, visit Millennium Park for an immersive Halloween experience with live DJs, sideshow characters, stilt walkers and performance artists, a kids station, fortune tellers and magicians, video projections and more!

Maggie Daley Park hosted by the Chicago Park District

8:00 PM – 10:00 PM Join us immediately after the parade for trick or treating (until the candy runs out!), a showing of the movie Beetlejuice, Mini Golf, spooky games, prizes and more at the climbing wall and Skating Ribbon!

Skating Ribbon and Climbing Wall will be offering a discounted package for $20 per person.

Mini Golf will also be open and available at $11 per person.


free halloween parade



How can my organization participate in the parade – and can I participate as an individual artist?
Visit our Participate Page for more information on how to participate in the parade.

Is there an ADA designated viewing area for the parade?
Yes, the ADA viewing area is just south of the Sponsor Tent in front of Macy’s, at the north east corner of Washington and State.

How do I get to Arts in the Dark?

Millennium Garages is the Official Parking Sponsor for Arts in the Dark. For more information on directions and pricing visit

Buses 3, 4, 6, 7, 14, 126, 129, 146, 147, 151 and 173. Weekends and holidays (mid-May through Labor Day) – bus 130 from Ogilvie Transportation Center and Union Station.

From the Green, Orange, Brown, Pink and Purple Line Express elevated lines, exit at Washington/Wabash and walk two blocks east. From the Red and Blue Line subways, exit at Jackson and walk three or four blocks east on Jackson.

For schedules and more visit

Due to street closures for the parade, we recommend being dropped off on Michigan and walking west to State.


Having a safe and fun parade experience for spectators is most important to LUMA8. Please follow these procedures to help ensure everyone’s safety.

Spectators cannot wear face masks, this includes teens and children. Instead, please feel free to use face paint, wigs, etc.

* The parade area will be monitored by Chicago Police, Private Security Officers, Parade Marshals and Staff and other Emergency Response Personnel. If you have a problem of an emergency nature, please contact those responders along the parade route for assistance.


And ALWAYS remember…”If you see something, say something!”

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