Nonstop theater, a costume competition and ballroom dancing will bewitch the East Village in Theater for the New City's 29th annual Village Halloween Costume Ball. This unique festival continues as a grand coming-together for everyday New Yorkers and artists alike. A carefree fall tradition, it celebrates the creativity that comes with the season. The one-night fiesta takes over all four of TNC's theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues. Customarily over 1,400 wildly-clad celebrants gather for dancing, dining, showing off costumes and viewing acts from the cutting-edge of Cabaret and Theater. Dance orchestras will include The Great Paprika Band, a noted Brazilian jazz pop orchestra, and Hot Lavender Swing Band, an all-Gay and Lesbian 18-piece orchestra. With its Witches' Cauldron, the event can justifiably claim to have downtown's most sensational Halloween cafe. The Community Theater of TNC becomes an atmospheric grande buffet for the event, with a variety of American and international delicacies available at peoples' prices. Holiday dishes are contributed by neighboring East Village restaurants and a variety of private chefs. You can gobble couscous from a coffin lid beginning at 7:30 pm while enjoying spine-tingling musical performances and more. Outside, there are bluegrass and jazz bands, fire eaters, jugglers, storyweavers and stilt dancers, all free to the public and a gift from TNC to its neighborhood. Inside, there is theater all evening. Since its beginning in 1977, TNC's Halloween extravaganza has been a point of origin for many of the City's most original entertainers. Six full-length plays have grown out of playlets written for the fest and it is probable that the theatrical movement in Performance Art began there. It has been a launching pad for such formative artists as Paul Zaloom, Alice Farley, Bloolips, The Red Mole, Penny Arcade, Basil Twist and Alien Comic Tom Murrin. It is also interesting to note TNC originated the Village Halloween Parade as part of its annual Halloween Ball. The procession wound its way through the Village from TNC's second home at the corner of Jane and West Streets to Washington Square Park. Now the event takes up every available inch (both floors) of TNC's multi-theater complex at 155 First Avenue (the former First Avenue Retail Market building) and adjoining outdoor spaces. Free outdoor entertainment begins 4:00 pm. Doors open at 7:30 pm and indoor entertainment begins at 8:00 pm. There will be two continuously-running cabarets.