Reported By: Kimberly Halter, Georgia Weekly Post
Photos by: David Deng and Tony Delmichi
The weather was nice. No drop of rain until the wee hours of the night. Temperatures were in the seventies. Many hundreds of millions of small kids around the globe - including my four, were out trick -or- treating in Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Duluth, Brookhaven and even sleepy Johns Creek, Dunwoody and beyond. Yes, they celebrate Halloween in China, Egypt and Russia too.
As I got ready they were preparing for the BOO BASH at three Sheets in the middle of the fashionable parts of sandy Springs. The Three Sheets is known name. A TV show, a club in Dallas and many in New York City. The Bash producer and host Michael Colson made a good choice of having it for the second year at such a premier event destination and best kept secret in the Atlanta area.
Boo Bash at 3 Sheets is the brainchild of Michael Colson, a respected and admired real estate broker for the rich and famous.This is Colson's second year bringing in the rich and beautiful on the scariest night of the year. Colson is a well known volunteer for community charities and honorable causes for nonprofit. He has many friends.
▲ New York City is one among top ten around the world to celebrate any Holiday. In SOHO, they spent an hour waiting in line and paid $45.00 to see a scary show. Live show performed by actors. No drinks included.! Photo in New York City by Tony delmichi.
As many parents went through the pain of dressing up those little creatures, I did my part driving them around my neighborhood. They are trick-or-treating this year as super hero's, ghosts, rock stars, including one dressed up the part of a news reporter and went on asking many hard hitting questions! I thought, she wanted to go to MIT!
As it started to get darker, many of those moms and dads brought the children with their stuffed bags back home, called for baby sitting and got to their dressing rooms and off they went. We in Georgia know how to give a party. The best party, among seven tonight that I know of, is my distention. I am heading to the most sophisticated high-end entertainment for party-goers like me. The 3 Sheets is designed and owned by the Godfather restaurants, Ryan Akly. Akly is an engineer. His younger son, Ryan Akly, heads Restaurants Consulting Group. They designed and enveloped many restaurants around the world including Georgia. Both, father and son, made Atlanta the design center of high-end restaurants.
Arriving at 3 sheets was a pleasure. Many invited guests are well dressed. For an opener, valet parking, getting me out of my car and more men opening doors for me. One of the owners opened the front door for me.
▲ Young Ivey tricking-or-treating. Warm weather gave many kids the opportunity to enjoy a nice Halloween day. Photo by David Deng for Georgia Weekly Post
Comparing that kind of the reception to that I encountered at one my recent reportings of an event - featuring the fashions of the 20's was stellar. Michael Colson is known for his hands-on management style. He paid attention to service details. There is no comparison in the quality of services. This place and the the services are classy.
My photographer and I made it inside. I came face to face with many of the most beautiful people of Georgia. Many complimented my outfit. In addition to being a reporter for Georgia Weekly Post, I came to the Boo Bash dressed up as Miss Georgia weekly Post, all in white!
My editor would not want me to look like a witch. This is a massive place. The DJ is bumping music into the room. Waitresses are dressed very sexy and ready to serve you, close to 5000 square feet and has a high ceiling. The sound and the acoustics are well designed and balanced.
I was welcomed by the man of the hour and the host of Boo Bash, Michael Colson, dressed as a doctor. I met his co-host, Charlie Buckshaw, dressed as a pirate. I was also welcomed by the club owner and his family. Tony Akly is a working owner. They usher us to our VIP booth. What a large half moon shape with champagne cooled and glasses and table decorated to fit the Boo Bash.
Every imaginable halloween costume and many home made inventions are dressing many invited guests who are young in bodies and hearts.
▲ Young Isabella and Brother Ethan are grilling reporters. She wants to go to MIT. He wanted to go to Yale.
There were plenty of skins and gadgets. The dance floor was swinging with the DJ and waitresses did not leave a glass unfilled. Grilled cheese was my choice - you dip it in a Mediterranean tomato sauce - and fine champagne was my way to wash it down. I met the chef later by the back terrace while exchanging notes with my editor.
▲ Trick-or-treating at the Meng House of Dunwoody, GA. As many parents went through the pain of dressing up those little creatures, I did my part driving them around my neighborhood.
Every event producer made an appearance tonight. I met a former congressman and his girlfriend.I saw many of the most beautiful people. Many are party-goers. Models seem to like this party. I can count over a dozen. One went on dancing and showing her slim body to my editor. Many are returning guests and they brought finds along. This event left a good impression in the minds of many last year. Bravo Michael Colson. Tonight's event is an added contribution to the economy.
▲ Young Glenda Wright joined Niki Wright at The Boo Bash of 3 Sheets. They were greeted by Club owner Tony Akly on Saturday.
By the time I got into bed, the United States had spent over eight billion dollars in the name of Halloween.
According to my notebook, 3 Sheets is a big, big club including back rooms and verandas and sidwalks. I can say there are several hundreds here tonight, indoors and outdoors.
▲ I never seen so many models under one roof before. There is a pair of tens.
Among many I met and saw were Kelly Martin, Charlie Buckshaw, Michael Colson - the host , Jill Bullard, Carla Galindo, Eric Burgess, Thom brown, Alicia Coffey, Cindy Thurmond, Jamie Mainous, Kelly Sanders, Heather Graham, Stephanie Olney, Steve Taylor, Steve Eskew, Debbie Taylor, Melissa Spalding, Mila Mailed, Des Farris, Linda Dunn, Linda Ireland, Helen Gerolemou and Darlene Lamoureux.
▲Costumes make up the biggest chunk of Halloween sales, according to IBISWorld, comprising about 36% of the total. This year, the firm pegs overall costume purchases at $2.11 billion. According to their analysis: “Lady Gaga, doctors, vampires and traditional ghoul costumes will still top shoppers’ lists this year,
In addition, according to my notebook, Justin Eastman, Helen Leaving, Niki Wright, Shirley Hansen, Avi Levy, Bob Scott, Lisa Joseph, Glenda Wright, Ying Fu, Fay Shabani from Iran, MJ Kim Cho of Korea Times and Amanda Greason visting from New York City, Rafael Navarro from El Nuevo-TV- Georgia were among the invited guests. I missed seeing Linda Rosenberg. She went trick-or-treating with Sophie, her granddaughter.
Back in an isolated varanda, I noticed Rusty Newport. He produces his own events. I guess he is enjoying a better food, drinks and services door to door, tonight.
▲ It is getting dark. Almost bed time. HOW MUCH WE SPEND! Consumers are ready to spend around $8.86 billion dollars this Halloween, according to an annual survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation. That comes out to an average of about $92 per American.
Halloween started several thousand years ago with the Ancient Celts (a group of pre-Christian mystics who worshipped nature). They considered October 31st the end of the year and they threw a big party which was known as Samhain.
▲ Two of the best costumes of the night at the Boo Bash hosted by Michael Colson. Photo by David Deng of The Georgia Weekly Post.
It was a celebration of the autumn harvest and the Celtic new year, when they believed spirits could come back and visit with living relatives. Celts put out food and drink for the dead and left their windows, doors, and gates unlocked to give the spirits free passage into their homes. Some people believed if you left "treats" on the front porch for the spirits and ghosts, this would make them happy and they would not hurt you.
Later, as Christianity spread, November 1st became a religious holiday known as All Saints' Day. The prayer that was said on this day was called Allhallowmas. The night before became known as All Hakkiwe'en, or Halloween.
Halloween is the holiday that puts the "conspicuous" into "conspicuous consumption." If that sexy-Michelle Bachmann or zombie-Khadafi ensemble doesn't draw stares, you're wearing it wrong. If you're under the age of 12, you had better rake in enough candy to induce insulin shock. And if you're heading out to the bar, well, your wardrobe isn't the only thing that should be blacked out.
Of course, all that indulgence comes with a price tag. This year, experts estimate that consumers will spend about $8 billion on Halloween-related purchases.
That's just "a drop in the bucket" compared to overall holiday spending, said Nikoleta Panteva, a senior analyst with market researcher IBISWorld. According to her firm's analysis, Americans spent $328 billion for all major holidays in 2014, from Father's Day to Thanksgiving. Christmas sales alone were $235 billion, or nearly 60% of the total. Halloween's haul was the smallest, accounting for a mere 3.4% of holiday spending.
But for a few industries, October 31 is the night to shine. According to the National Confectioners Association, sweets-makers reap 8% of their annual sales during Halloween, making it candy's biggest holiday. Costumes, cards and decorations account for the rest and to discover just how much Americans spend on pet costumes, along with some other truly freaky facts.
▲ Linda Rosenberg. She went trick-or-treating with Sophie, her granddaughter - dressed up above.
How much we spend. WHAT WE BUY: MORE CANDY. What’s the most popular Halloween candy? Nobody seems to track that question. An NCA spokesman said that tastes aren’t much different during the holiday than the rest of the year. Customers just opt for single serving sizes, good for handing out to trick-or-treaters. It’s also peak candy corn season: Manufacturers produce 45 million pounds of the waxy, tri-color kernels for the holiday.
HOW MUCH WE SPEND: Consumers are ready to spend around $8.86 billion dollars this Halloween, according to an annual survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation. That comes out to an average of about $92 per American. Market Research firm IBISWorld forecasts this year’s spending at a more modest $5.9 billion. Still, the firm says that would be an 11.7% improvement from the year before, and a huge bounce-back from 2009, when the recession caused sales to drop a ghastly 22% to $4.31 billion.
▲ A solo trick-or-treater collecting more candy. It was a nice day and warmer weather, As it gets darker, parents are bringing their kids back home by eight. Bed time in Dunwoody!
WHO CELEBRATES: Of course, not all of that spending is spread out evenly. Just a little more than two-thirds of those surveyed by the National Retail Federation (NRF) said they planned to celebrate the holiday. That fraction stays about the same for both men and women, and across geographic regions. The big differentiator? Age. A full 89.1% of 18-24 year olds plan to party and spend. That percentage drops with each rising demographic bracket. Only 42% of those over 65 said they had plans for the holiday.
▲ There was no shortage in doctors or nurses at the Boo Bash hosted by Michael Colson.
WHAT WE BUY: COSTUMES. Costumes make up the biggest chunk of Halloween sales, according to IBISWorld, comprising about 36% of the total. This year, the firm pegs overall costume purchases at $2.11 billion. According to their analysis: “Lady Gaga, doctors, vampires and traditional ghoul costumes will still top shoppers’ lists this year, while more classic looks, like 1960s Mad Men-inspired outfits, emerge as a new favorite.” And no, we weren’t looking at the 2009 study.
▲ Decorations sales have been slumping across the board, says IBISWorld Senior Analyst Nikola Panteva. But she believes they should still make up $320 million in sales on Halloween, up from last year’s $300 million. Decorations should be a full $1.67 billion, up from $1.49 billion last year.
WHAT WE BUY: PET COSTUMES. Fact: Americans plan to spend $300 million on pet costumes this year, according to the NRF. Make of that what you will, but at least it's still less than children’s costumes, which should account for about $1 billion in spending, or adult costumes, which should account for $1.2 billion. Somewhere out there, a black cat owner feels thrifty.
▲ This is the third time I see in public that woman from Iran. Fay Shabani is still out and about. Learning from American politicians, she loves to get her picture taken. It is the weeked before elections in Georgia. Electtion day is November 3, 2015. Many Tricks are on the ballots this year.
WHAT WE BUY: CANDY
Halloween season is candy season. Sweets makers see 8% of their sales during the holiday, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA). That makes it the “largest confectionary holiday.” The industry group expects revenue to hit $2.27 billion, up about 1% from a year ago. IBISWorld pegs its 2011 estimate lower, at $1.81 billion, although by their calculations that would still represent an increase.
▲Cats and doctors were very popular theme among invited guests to Michael Colson's Boo Bash at 3 sheets in Sandy Springs.
Interestingly, the two organizations disagree on whether candy took a hit during the recession. The confectioners group says sales have increased steadily since 2006. IBISWorld says sales dropped 15% in 2009. The NRF’s consumer survey seems to dovetail with IBISWorld’s finding. Of those who feel affected by the recession, 40% said they planned to save money by spending less on candy. About 46% said that in 2009.
▲October was the fourth drunkest month, falling behind July (Independence Day), November (Thanksgiving), and December (Christmas, etc.).
WHAT DID WE BUY: MORE CANDY. What’s the most popular Halloween candy? Nobody seems to track that question. An NCA spokesman said that tastes aren’t much different during the holiday than the rest of the year. Customers just opt for single serving sizes, good for handing out to trick-or-treaters. It’s also peak candy corn season: Manufacturers produce 35 million pounds of the waxy, tri-color kernels for the holiday.
▲Halloween started several thousand years ago with the Ancient Celts (a group of pre-Christian mystics who worshipped nature). They considered October 31st the end of the year and they threw a big party which was known as Samhain.
WHAT WE BUY: DECORATIONS AND CARDS. Greeting card sales have been slumping across the board, says IBISWorld Senior Analyst Nikola Panteva. But she believes they should still make up $320 million in sales on Halloween, up from last year’s $300 million. Decorations should be a full $1.67 billion, up from $1.49 billion last year.
WHAT WE BUY: ALCOHOL. Oddly, none of our sources tracked Halloween alcohol sales as part of their research. That said, the Census Bureau found that in 2010, purchases from wine, beer and liquor stores started off light early in the year and spiked in months with major holidays. October was the fourth drunkest month, falling behind July (Independence Day), November (Thanksgiving), and December (Christmas, etc.).
HALLOWEEN VS. OTHER HOLIDAYS: Despite all the splurging, Halloween is still just a small slice of the holiday spending pie.