Ghosts and goblins on the prowl

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— Children and adults dressed in an array of Halloween costumes will shuffle between Fifth and 10th streets tonight as the annual Halloween Stroll gets under way.

Although the streets will be closed from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Downtown Business Association's Halloween Stroll will take place from 5 to 7 p.m.

Creepy goblins and white angels will fly down Lincoln Avenue to trick-or-treat at local businesses. Adults are invited to dress up and walk through downtown; however, trick-or-treating is for children only.

Sandy Pugh, on staff at the Downtown Business Association, said the tradition has gone on in Steamboat for more than 30 years.

"We try to encourage all the downtown businesses to put out candy," Pugh said.

"It's just to encourage safety and it's a fun social event. There are more adults there than there are kids."

Jacqui Campbell, public education coordinator for the Steamboat Springs Fire Department, said people should stay in well-lit areas when trick-or-treating or walking to the event.

"Always use a buddy system when trick-or-treating. We really advocate going downtown for the merchant trick-or-treating," Campbell said.

Campbell and Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing said if trick-or-treaters are not going to the downtown event that they go to houses of the people they know or at least a house that is well-lit.

Putting reflective tape on costumes could help others see you while trick-or-treating in the street.

Pugh, also the owner of Celebrations, said group costumes for teen-agers are becoming increasingly popular every year.

Pugh and co-worker Katie Johnson have styles through the decades, starting with the 1920s and moving through time, but she also has eras before that, including Biblical figures, Renaissance, pioneer, Civil War and Native American.

"It's helpful if they know what they want to be, but we're pretty creative, too," Johnson said. "If it's something that's within reason, we can put things together to make different costumes."

Celebrations has a lot of business this year because of the newly expanded line of costumes, and Pugh said she's even ordered more.

"I'm just doing laundry as fast as I can," Pugh said.

Celebrations has prom dresses, saloon outfits and characters from almost every popular television sitcom and Disney.

Before Saturday, Pugh said she was running out of costumes, but with many people's returns, she's seen Austin Powers, Felicity and Dr. Evil as well as some "Wizard of Oz" characters come back to the store.

"The patriotic theme has been really big Statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam," Johnson said.

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