Wallypalooza founder planning five-night Halloween blow-out
By Steve Wildsmith | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
On tap for Walloween, the latest idea from Wallypalooza mastermind and founder Wally Miles: Rock ‘n’ roll Unholy, terrifying and sinful attire. Alcohol. Profane, gut-busting stand-up comedy. Jell-O wrestling.
If Lucifer doesn’t stamp such an event with his personal seal of approval, then Miles might as well get out of the party-throwing business.
If past Wallypalooza events are any indication, however, then the upcoming five-night Walloween bash, which kicks off Wednesday at The Thirsty Turtle Pub in Maryville, will go down in the history books as a glorious Bacchanalian celebration of All Hallow’s Eve, albeit a few weeks early.
“After Wallypalooza ended this year back in March, people were wanting to do it again, but I didn’t want to over-saturate or water it down by doing two or three this year,” Miles told us recently. “I’ve done that in the past, and they went well; point proven. But Halloween — well, that gives everybody an excuse to dress up. And if I can find an excuse to dress up like Gene Simmons, I’m going to do it.”
For those unfamiliar with Miles and the legendary parties that carry his name, read our cover stories on Wallypalooza from March 2011 and August 2011. They started out as a birthday celebration for Miles, a 1997 graduate of Maryville High School and a lifelong resident of Blount County. He invited friends to the lake in 1998 to celebrate the day, and they enjoyed an afternoon of music blaring from an old boombox. The next year, someone came up with the idea of getting a rock band to play for the annual gathering.
Over the next 14 years, the event was christened Wallypalooza and grew into the monster that it is today. And starting in 2008, when he booked three bands (Middle Finger, Stonemosis and Half of Something) at Nater’z Sports Grille in Maryville, it’s become a beast over which he has little control, at least in terms of how many people show up. In fact, one of the reasons he’s expanded Walloween to a five-night celebration is because so many bands and musicians have requested the opportunity to take part.
“With all the entertainment, we need to a week to fit it in,” he said. “Plus, we want to make each night special. People tend to wait for the weekend because they think those will be the best nights, but we’re going to make Wednesday and Thursday nights so good that people will say, ‘We can’t miss a night.’ On Wednesday night, we’re going to kick it off with a bang — we’ll have stand-up comedy, three bands and Jell-O wrestling.”
So far, eight female contestants have signed on to battle it out in the gelatinous pit of doom, including one match that will feature two girls against Miles himself. It hardly seems fair, but Miles has been involved in the local amateur wrestling circuit for years under the pseudonym Jagger Sterling.
“I’m putting the Wallypalooza belt on the line for this one,” he said with a chuckle. “And even if I lose, I still win, in my opinion.”
Thursday night will feature a Halloween costume contest complete with cash prizes and more live music; and Friday through Sunday will offer more of the same. Although the final three nights of Walloween will coincide with the popular Foothills Fall Festival in downtown Maryville, Miles doesn’t see them as competing events.
“Once people leave the fall festival, if they don’t want to go home just yet, they can come on by, because we’ll be going late,” he said. “The way I see it, there’s something going on for everybody that weekend. Nobody can complain there’s nothing going on in Maryville anymore.”