Kids and adults dressed as superheroes, vampires and animals of all shapes and sizes converged on the Olympia Farmers Market on Sunday to take part in its second Halloween costume contest and to get a jump-start on trick-or-treating.
The morning contests, which included categories for families and children ranging from newborn to 11 years old, attracted nearly 100 people, an exponential increase from last year, judges said.
One contestant, 10-year-old Maxx Hart, dressed up as a character his friends say already looks a lot like him. With green face paint, a papier-mâché head with pointy ears and faux-cobwebs for hair, he came as Yoda from the “Star Wars” movies.
“Yoda is small and I am small,” he said.
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The Jacob family, dressed in mariachi outfits and carrying instruments, won the family costume category, beating out others made up to look like characters from “Peter Pan” and “Spider-Man.”
Easton, 3, and Carter, 21 months, joined their parents, Trever and Sarah Jacob, on stage dressed in striped vests and sombreros, and holding miniature instruments.
“We just wanted to do a family-themed costume,” Sarah Jacob said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Many children designed their own costumes, or got a little help from mom or dad.
Nik Pasternak, 7, was a “Transformer” robot, a costume he says was two years in the making. His look included painted blue boxes for his torso, a plastic robot mask and dryer tubes around his arms and legs, making for a pretty stiff walk.
As sun came out and dried up all the rain, 2-year-old Julian Balsley won his age group playing the part of a spider.
From the eight legs strapped to his back to the googly eyes stuck to his face, Balsley was about as close as you can get to becoming a spider without crawling on eight legs – except for maybe the cobwebbed bow tie and hat.
“His dad made sure I had the right amount of eyes,” mother Keri Balsley said.
Other creative costumes included a gorilla, a NASCAR driver and Rumpleteazer from the musical “Cats.”
Characters from “Where the Wild Things Are” also were popular.
Judges said this year’s participation blew away last year’s, when about 10 people competed in each category. This year, 41 children competed in the category for newborns to 3-year-olds.
Picking a winner among so many creative costumes is never easy, said judge Stephanie Johnson, arts and events coordinator for the City of Olympia.
“The job of a judge is very difficult under any circumstance,” she said.
Winners in each category received a gift card and all contestants were awarded goody bags.
Vendors also got into the Halloween spirit, giving out candy to trick-or-treaters and even dressing up.
Pixie Honey Co. employee Mariah McDonald planned to go as a raven but couldn’t find a beak. Her back-up plan, a flower, seemed appropriate for someone selling honey.
Nate Hulings: 360-754-5476, firstname.lastname@example.org