Svengoolie Hosts “The Nightmare on Chicago Street” Costume Contest!


Conclusion to the 2013 Nightmare on Chicago Street…

Feeling a bit awkward, I made my way up the stage and starting snapping photos of Svengoolie addressing The Nightmare on Chicago Street crowd. I later learned there were nearly 7,000 people out there which, had I known at the time, would have me a nervous wreck! Elizabeth Haney was determined to capture a Sven’s eye view of things and the last thing I wanted to do was let her down. Seeing the immense crowd really brought home the full power Svengoolie had on my fellow fans. Sven cracked a joke about it being so cold he was glad he had his iphone because he’s “freezing his apps off” and the conest began…

DSC_0825Me behind Sven (photo courtesy of Jim Roche)


The categories were  “Best Couple or Group, “Best Zombie, “Best Steampunk,” “Best Horror,” “Best Original,” and “Best Overall.” First up were the contestants with group costumes. A Zombie Wedding Party took 3rd prize!

DSC_0831Photo courtesy of Jim Roche

IMG_8230I guess there’s never an inappropriate time to snap a picture of Sven

I was never able to get a good look at the other contestants in this category as I was standing behind them. I decided when this group left the stage I would as well!

IMG_8244Best Zombie contestants


I’m not a big steampunk person (I wouldn’t say I dislike it so much as I’m indifferent) but I must say that crowd really stole the show this year!




IMG_8270I guess there’s also no inappropriate time to take a “selfie”

The horror contestants were interesting too…


Snapshot 17 (11-7-2013 8-25 PM)


The “Best Original Costume” portion ended up providing a bit of controversy. This was due to one of the runner’s up (a woman dressed in a muscle outfit) thinking she should have been the winner. When she discovered herself a runner up instead she demanded that Svengoolie rethink his choice which was superfluous since Sven did not pick the winners but was merely acting as the Emcee.

Snapshot 18 (11-7-2013 8-25 PM)




I did understand her frustration to a point as the one who did win was a person dressed in an outfit from the movie Kick Ass making neither interesting nor original.  However, in all fairness, the most original of the three was in a wicked queen costume in my opinion.


In the end, horror proved no match for the steampunk crowd as they were clearly the most original and their Iron Man-style contestant not only won in their category but the overall one as well.


The contest ended and, along with it, most of the night’s festivities. The crowds dispersed and we headed back to Svengoolie headquarters to relax with a cup of coffee. Sven kicked back and we discussed the evening. Soon he and the gang left and, as it was nearly midnight, I did as well and, just like last year, with a big smile on my face.

Nightmare on Chicago Street remains the undisputed champion of horror events in my book and was sure to nominate them for a Rondo Award soon after. I never heard back but if anyone reading this agrees, please do so as well. One thing has become pretty obvious; Berwyn, Illinois may be Sven’s adopted town but Elgin is giving them a clear run for their money!

Dave Fuentes~



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