Families at the annual Boo-Palooza Halloween festival in Wicker Park Credit: Doug Wood/Provided

WICKER PARK — A costume contest, dog parade, pumpkin decorating and more is coming to Wicker Park’s namesake park this weekend. 

Organized by the Wicker Park Advisory Council, the annual Boo-Palooza event returns in full force Saturday after being pared down last year because of the pandemic. 

The event in the park, 1425 N. Damen Ave., will feature live music and dance performances, a maze and pumpkin patch and tables from almost 50 local businesses and organizations. 

The event will raise funds for an annual event series as well as upkeep of the park’s gardens. 

“We design, fund and maintain 10,000 square feet of garden, so all the garden, every plant we take care of, so we have to pay for that,” said Doug Wood, events and programming coordinator for the Wicker Park Advisory Council. 

Funds will also go toward events like movies, live music and yoga in the park, among other things, Wood said. 

Organizers made some changes to Boo-Palooza this year to be more COVID-friendly, like canceling apple bobbing and facepainting — but most of its regular activities will return. 

That includes the costume parade and contest, which Wood said is open to all ages, including families who dress up together.

“We’ve had incredible adults costumes, so you’re not excluded if you’re an adult,” he said.

Boopalooza runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Wicker Park, 1425 N. Damen Ave. There is a suggested donation of $10 per family. 

Winners of the dog parade costume contest at Boo-Palooza in Wicker Park Credit: Doug Wood/Provided

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