Partying Without the Politics

At the Capital Club's Halloween bash Saturday night there was barely a Bush, Kerry or Osama to be seen. The furthest thing from the minds of a couple hundred rowdy young professionals seemed to be tomorrow's election -- sorry, P. Diddy.

"I think this is everybody's chance to get away from politics," said baseball promoter Winston Lord, looking trailer-park fabulous as Joe Dirt. "It's the best party in town." The festivities at Lafayette Center were a homage to never-ending alcohol, the '80s and pop culture. There was Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, a "Tron" enthusiast and a shower stall a la Ralph Macchio in "The Karate Kid." But the night's most ubiquitous costume was everyone's favorite jailbird, Martha Stewart.

"Seriously, I walked into this costume store and saw the jumpsuit and the wig and I was like, 'That's it!' " said Nelson Byrd, who accessorized his costume with some stubble, an apron and a cold beer. Another Martha sported a black and white striped sheath dress with matching pumps and a tray of Halloween cookies (that could be found scattered about, half-eaten, throughout the night). Continuing the domestic theme, a gaggle of girls wearing pearls, pink cardigans and flashing black lace bras came as "Desperate Housewives." "I am definitely not married," said Sally Jones, whose boyfriend was out of town. "No desperation for me."

Around 1:30 a.m. the bumping, grinding and boozing wound down. Cowboys left with French maids. Clergymen escorted pop stars to cabs. And the sweetest sight of the night: George W. Bush walking out hand-in-hand with Saddam Hussein.

Rocking Down a Different Trail

The Boss loves John Kerry, but he loves his daughter even more -- as it should be. Bruce Springsteen took time out from the campaign trail to attend Saturday's Washington International Horse Show at MCI Center with daughter Jessica, who rides, and wife Patti Scialfa. The rock star and family as well as former Redskins Art Monk and Charles Mann were guests at horse show president Sheila Johnson's gala, where they watched McLain Ward, an equestrian silver medalist in Athens, win the President's Cup Grand Prix.

In her third year, Johnson is attempting to glamorize and democratize (small "D") the premier equine event. "I had to make this show more people-friendly," said Johnson. "It's very important this show reaches out to the D.C. community." To that end, 6,000 free tickets were donated to Washington kids, some of whom had never seen a horse in person. The line of youngsters eager to ride a pony Saturday afternoon stretched hundreds of feet down the sidewalk. "I rode for 11 years and she watches the tapes of me riding and wants to ride, too," said Shannon King, with daughter Ashley Lamaster, 2. Even the Wizards' Michael Ruffin waited for his tots Deionte, 8, Milaya, 3, and Javon, 2, to take a spin around the ring. Blue ribbons for everybody!

Racing Toward a Cure

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge -- apparently not panicked about Osama or the election -- looked pretty calm Saturday night at the 19th annual Lombardi Cancer Center gala at the Hilton Washington. Ridge, along with 1,300 other patrons, was there to honor NASCAR driver Richard Petty, WUSA's Andrea Roane and local interior designer Sarah Boyer Jenkins for their efforts in the fight against cancer. "I think it's a super good cause," said Petty, a prostate cancer survivor who interrupted a race weekend in Atlanta for the event. Petty, 67 and incredibly nice, said he hoped telling his story would help NASCAR fans and everybody else get regular checkups. "All you can do is put it out there and hope they listen to you."

With Laura Thomas