When you hear the term "fundraiser," most would probably flash to a dinner - choice of baked fish or chicken cordon bleu, light music, and maybe a couple of speeches.
Or, for the more active types, there's the charity road race.
There's no wrong way to (legally) raise funds for nonprofits or charities. The point is to bring awareness to the cause and engage the generosity of donors.
But when the nonprofit is Hygienic Art - the New London gallery that has reputation for embracing the fringe and its Halloween weekend - its main fundraiser is going to be devilishly different.
This Saturday, the fourth edition of the Hygienic Art's Howling Halloween Bash will undoubtedly embrace the gonzo vibe of the downtown New London gallery and the spirit of All Hallow's Eve.
"It's really the ideal fundraiser for us," Rich Martin, gallery manager at the Hygienic, says. "It's not a black-tie affair."
Held, as in previous years, at the Crocker House Ballroom in New London, Halloween Bash is the main charity event for the gallery. It sustains the arts programming, concerts and movie nights that Hygienic puts on throughout the year.
"It helps us get over the hump financially," Hygienic President Vincent Scarano says. "It helps support the free movies and all the stuff we give away."
Martin says past years' parties drew as many as 275 people to the ballroom, and the event has begun to rival the opening of the annual Hygienic Art Show as downtown New London's weirdest night out.
Veteran Bridgeport party band What Up Funk Band will once again churn out dance floor fillers. New London's stalwart Italian restaurant Tony D's will provide the eats.
There will be a selection of beer and wine, as well a special hard liquor potable known only as "the Zombie."
According Scarano, most party-goers get into the spirit of things and come in sometimes elaborate and sometimes group-themed costumes.
"(Local attorney and gallery supporter) Linda Mariani and her firm came dressed as a football team," Scarano says. "Some Pfizer employees came as superheroes. It's always fresh."
Given the upcoming general election, the political satire often identified with the annual art show should prove to be a popular costume theme.
Scarano says someone at last year's party came dressed as "Riverside Park," a nod to the 2011 referendum on whether the city should sell a portion of the open space to the Coast Guard Academy. (Voters shot down the sale; no word if the costume swayed votes.)
There will be prizes handed out for costumes, although, at press time, the judges have not been decided upon. Last year featured all of the mayoral candidates.
Scarano was undecided last week on what he was going to wear as a costume, though in previous years he came as Salvador Dali and video game character Mario.
"I do have a cape," Scarano says.
While costumes make the night more fun, Scarano says they are not required.
"People can come and enjoy the spectacle," he says.
Hygienic Art's Howling Halloween Bash, 8 p.m. Saturday, Crocker House Ballroom, 35 Union St., New London; $40, includes food; (860) 443-8001, hygienic.org.