ALTON - Since viewing the parade with her family in 2010, Erin Frew, owner of Frew's Bridal and Formal Wear, has hosted a flash mob outside her business during the Alton Halloween Parade.
She said, since purchasing the building, located at 305 Piasa St., Frew said she wanted to see the Alton Halloween Parade reach Downtown Alton to a large crowd. When she viewed the parade with her family in 2010, however, she described the parade reaching a "ghost town" during its final leg. At that moment, Frew said she decided to do something about the disappointing crowd numbers.
"In 2010, I wanted to drive traffic back to the downtown district to watch the parade," she said. "That was my motivation, and it seemed to work."
To add a bit of zest to the downtown district, Frew utilized her shop to add to the flavor of the parade. Students of Principia College's Theater and Dance Departments lent their talents and passions to the City of Alton for the parade. Frew utilized these students as "live mannequins" for her shop windows and for a flash mob in front of her shop.
"Our event is a 'real scream,'" Frew said in an email. "With all student volunteers, we've created a frighteningly fun spectacle during the annual Alton Halloween parade. Our live monster mannequins and flash mob happening adds a stylish and spooky twist to the classic Halloween parade. This free event combines the resources and talents of local business, local students and other volunteers."
This year, Frew said she has expanded the flash mob participation from solely dance students from Principia to students of DK Dance Productions - a studio located at 2600 State Street in Alton. Each year has a theme as well, and this year, Frew said it is pirate and gypsy couture, which will feature a "motley collection of classic and modern monsters" with a "chic Frew's twist." Make-up and hair artists come from Mr. John's School of Cosmetology and Nail in Jacksonville.
"We're awfully excited to have their dancers participating this year as well," Frew said of DK Dance Productions.
Live mannequins will take to their windows around 6 p.m., Frew said, and the flash mob will be cued to roll approximately 10 minutes before the parade arrives in Downtown Alton. Frew said the exact timing would be dependent entirely on the flow of the parade.
Frew's Bridal and Formal Wear will join neighboring businesses Elijah P's and Tony's in staying open for people during the parade. Frew said her shop's restrooms will be available to spectators, and added anyone chilled from being outside for too long is welcome to warm themselves within the shop as well.
For more spooky Halloween news, check out our Halloween page.