News & Politics

DC Halloween Bar Crawl Bans Clown Costumes

Leave it at home. Image via iStock.

Attendees of this year’s Nightmare on M Street bar crawl may not wear clown costumes as they carouse. “With everything that’s been going on in the United States, we want to make sure we have a safe event,” says Chrissy Benner, an event manager for Lindy Promotions, which operates the crawl. 

The ban follows a raft of stories from August onward about “creepy clowns” that is kind of hard to explain, but here’s a good attempt at doing so. In response, clown costumes are not welcome at New Haven, Connecticut, schools this Halloween, in West Milford, New Jersey, and the French village of Vendargues, among other municipalities. Even if you wanted to wear a clown costume, you may have to shop around to find one: Target has pulled them.

But you definitely won’t be able to wear one to Nightmare on M Street. The ban is especially interesting since the event’s 2015 iteration helped inspire tougher DC regulations about bar crawls–“In my 31 years of law enforcement experience, I’ve never seen anything comparable to the aftermath of a pub crawl,” DC Police Commander told an Alcoholic Beverage Control Board hearing last December.

Benner assures Washingtonian that this year’s clown-free event, which features “$3 Coors Lights, $4 Redd’s ,$5 Mixed Drinks for over 7 hours!” will “be the best one yet.” 

Here’s a video advertising last year’s crawl:

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.