By Lauren Clarke-Bennett & Nicola Clayton

Party City, the largest retail store of its kind with some 900 locations throughout the US and Puerto Rico hosted a Spooktacular pre-Halloween bash of its own. The ‘Cauldron of Creativity’ (#CauldronNYC) – event kicked off its 24-hour celebration at the historically haunted Algonquin Hotel in Midtown Manhattan where guests checked in, then picked out their favorite costume to wear during the festivities.

The uber-comfortable Algonquin (complete with cat in residence Matilda III @directfur) was transformed into a spooky showcase, illuminating Party City’s bewitching festive décor that offers the ability to convert any space into a Halloween happening. Tablescapes featured an extensive collection of ghostly decorations that included masks, skeletons, cobwebs, candles and of course, candies in every imaginable color.

As the celebration continued the ghoulish guests sipped an array of imaginative cocktails aptly named ‘Bones and Bloody Rita,’ ‘Graveyard Gin Punch’ and ‘The Great Pumpkintini’ created by resident mixologist Christian and Alex Aubry. To continue the festivities the motley crew settled into their seats for the chilling ‘Costumes of the Catwalk’ fashion show. On schedule, Party City’s ‘Cauldron of Creativity’ event showed us a slice of their bewitching and extensive collection of sensational costumes with complimentary make-up looks by a super team of talented artists.

The brilliant and New York Fashion Week worthy ‘Costumes of the Catwalk’, conceived by Party City’s creative costume design team, featured the crème de la crème of Halloween fashion. From adorable children’s costumes to both sexy and conservative looks for adults, the audience was taken to a whole new level of Halloween Super Heroes, Warriors and Spooks. The magic of Party City’s extensive costume and accessory collection is that any popular character can be created in several completely different looks to suit the wearer. With changes in silhouette and accessory choices a sexier version of a character’s costume may be transformed into a more conservative one to accompany a child’s adaptation of the same character.

The carousing continued by party bus to STK Downtown, the renowned restaurant and private party space in the trendy Meatpacking district of NYC where delicious finger food was generously served and dancing went on into the wee hours of the evening.

The following morning after a first rate breakfast at the Algonquin prepared by Chef John and presented by food and beverage manager Alex, the guests had a chance to participate in a ‘Shop till you Drop’ competition. Contestants in teams of two flew through the aisles, with lightening speed, in Party City’s 14th Street location while scanning and choosing from the entire inventory.

The first challenge was to pick a character and make two separate variations. Team Millennium decided on Super Girl and went with one sexy look and one street look. The second competition was to mash-up two separate character looks into one – The Millennium Team pulled Batman and Ariel out of the hat; no easy feat but a combo that garnered 1st prize.

Back at the Algonquin another fantastic feast with unearthly delights awaited the hard working competitors followed by a room with four impressive makeup artists including the well-known Derrick Little, displaying their creative skills on volunteers. The looks sampled that day that were just a few of the extensive collection available at Party City stores and included Elsa from Frozen, a Zombie, Scary Clown and Day of the Living Dead. Yikes!

Last but not least a tutorial in pumpkin and table display showed just how creative Party City is when it comes to every facet of entertaining. A few of the scary accessories included masks on pumpkins, black candles, and skeletal table favors filled with candy!

Halloween just can’t come fast enough after the experience of ‘Cauldron of Creativity’ and Party City’s one stop shopping for all your event needs. So get your party on!

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