Halloween weekend is truly back to normal in Albuquerque, and for proof, all one has to do is to return to Tractor Wells Park on Saturday night for the Stranger Things Arcade Carnival & Bazaar. After returning last year in a scaled-back format, it will reclaim the title of biggest event of the year at the brewery.
“Things look a lot different now than even a year ago in terms of opening up, but also with the release of season four of Stranger Things, I had to, there was no if, I had to do it,” said Tractor marketing director Jeremy Kinter. “And, I wanted to, frankly, so I was personally very motivated because I love the event and love the show. This is the best season since season one, so I have to do something. And, it some of the scenes were filmed here in Albuquerque. It just all came together serendipitously to convince me.”
The event will run from 7 p.m. to midnight, with tickets costing $10 in advance and $12 at the door. It is 21 and over only, so leave the kiddos at home (they get the actual holiday of Halloween all to themselves on Monday).
Kinter and the Tractor team are pulling out all the stops for this one.
“It’s going to be our biggest one yet, by far,” he said. “We’re going to have 12 to 15 arcade games. Arcade games here (in the taproom), and then the cocktail arcade games in the hallway. Those are the ones you sit at you can put your drink on; I think that’s a really cool element.”
The front parking lot will be closed off to cars (and you should honestly take an Uber or Lyft or get a designated driver, because this night is gonna be swarming with DWI patrols) and filled with all kinds of booths.
“In the parking lot we’re going to have a food truck, a magician, a face painter, and the spanking booth by Self Serve, which takes up two tents, because it’s the most popular booth,” Kinter said. “Inside I have a tarot card reader, a henna tattoo artist, and then we’re having six local vendors as well. I’ll have three in the conference room and then three outside. And then, of course, I’ll have Jon Sanchez and Jeremy Montoya printing the posters. They’re the ones that did that beautiful artwork, so they’ll be live printing those in the brewery.”
All the proceeds from the event go to the Blackout Theater Company, so naturally that wonderful collection of humans will be taking over the inside at 8 p.m. for a sketch comedy show extravaganza. In years past they performed outside in a big tent, but it made more sense to spread out the outdoor booths and vendors, while Blackout handles things in the main taproom.
With the exception of the hour where Blackout performs, there will be plenty of music. DJ Riff Rat and DJ Ren will be spinning up classic 80s tunes from 6:30 to 8. After the sketch comedy show, two bands will take the stage outside, with No Manners starting at 9, followed by Powerhouse.
“I was happy that I could nab them, if I’m being 100-percent honest with you,” Kinter said of No Manners, which will be performing Kate Bush’s Running up that Hill in addition to original songs. “I sought them specifically out for this. I love them, and them playing Kate Bush is just going to be amazing.”
So if No Manners is going to be covering Kate Bush, whose songs surged in popularity thanks to Stranger Things, it only makes sense that Powerhouse will be covering a certain thrash metal band.
“Do yourself a favor and check them out, they’re going to blow the roof off,” Kinter said. “They are a metal band. They’re going to be playing Master of Puppets and other Metallica covers. That’s going to close it out, and it goes to midnight.”
A big thanks to Jeremy, as always, for taking the time to chat amid all the preparations for the biggest event of the year at Tractor. Grab any 80s gear you can find, stuff some Eggo Waffles in your pockets, and watch out for Vecna around the corner.
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