Tampa Bay’s Overheard: All Hallows invitations are out and hate groups close to home

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TAMPA BAY READIES FOR ALL HALLOWS

Whispers on the wind and secrets in the shadows (okay, emails) have indicated that the invitations for Tampa Bay’s 41st Annual All Hallows’ Ball will soon be mailed, revealing the by-invitation-only event’s theme in the process.

The celebrated not-for-profit Halloween party, organized by a secretive group of locals and spearheaded by a friendly neighborhood “ghost” known only as Casper, will hold this year’s party at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in mid-October. (We’d give you more information, but we’re not sure Casper would appreciate it. No one wants to anger a ghost.)

Hundreds showed up to last year’s Ruby Red-themed event, with their costumes ranging from the insanely intricate to the scantily clad. Lady Bunny herself was the special guest DJ, so the hosts have quite a feat to top.

“With summer now running in very high gear,” Casper recently emailed guests, “invitations are ready, the theme soon to be clear. October 14 will be a spectacular night, Casper is certain it will be dynamite!”

For more information, you can visit www.allhallowsball.org (and maybe get invited if you haven’t been.)

HATE IN OUR STATE

The nation is still reeling from the white supremacist neo-Nazis who invaded Virginia to spread their racist, anti-gay, anti-Semitic messages this month, costing one activist her life—and Tampa Bay isn’t exempt from their kind of hate.

There’s been a renewed focus (albeit not from the White House) on hate groups in America, with the Tampa Bay Times reporting that the local law enforcement has confronted a group of self-proclaimed neo-Nazis and that flyers for the KKK have been spread throughout the Bay area in recent months.

Love wins in Florida, as evidenced by the vigils held in both St. Petersburg and Tampa following the events in Charlottesville, but there is hate in our state. In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) found that Florida had the second largest number of hate groups in the country, just after California.

Stay safe, and check out the mapped groups at www.splcenter.org/hate-map.

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