Eve of Destruction 

Nothing calls for a party like the end of the world. Whether you believe the apocalypse — literally a final revelation of things unseen — will come about as the result of biological terror, global thermonuclear war, or a deep-impact meteor strike that makes oceans boil and rips the moon in half, it's probably best to heed the immortal words of new-wave singer Roxy Epoxy: "We always knew that everything would end like this, so hold me close, give me a kiss." And there may be no better place to test that theory than Friends for Life's annual Halloween party and costume contest.

Rick Bartl, co-party-planning chair for Friends for Life, thinks this year's apocalypse-themed extravaganza will be a costume party to end all costume parties. "We always try to make our themes fun and timely," Bartl says. "Since it's 2012, we went with a Mayan theme."

"Costumes are optional," Bartl says. "If you just want to come and hang out."

A large artificial volcano is being constructed outside of the Bridges building, where partygoers will be entertained by a fire twirler, a snake charmer, and a DJ.

"That's the Mayan part," Bartl says. "Inside will be more what things are like after the destruction has happened. Think radiation zones and chain link. Our signature drink is the ApoColada. It's a Piña Colada for the end of the world."

The Halloween party is the biggest fund-raiser of the year for Friends for Life, a not-for-profit dedicated to helping persons affected by HIV/AIDS. Last year, the party raised more than $30,000.

"We think we can do better this year," Bartl says. "Our goal is $35,000."

Friends for Life Apocalypse Party. Saturday, October 27th, 9 p.m. Bridges. Tickets are $40 and $80. friendsforlife.org

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