Friday was not only Taj Haradin's first Downtown Halloween Stroll - the "surf baby" also was celebrating his first birthday.
"We think he's having a great time," his mom, Leslie Haradin, said, while Taj sat in the middle of Lincoln Avenue in his board shorts, chewing on a lightsaber. "Clearly, I'm having a better Halloween than last year, too."
The Haradins, while crafting Taj's last-minute costume Thursday night, decided to make things "a little more interesting," Leslie said.
After crafting a tiny surfboard and turning Taj's stroller into a shark with cloth and foam board jaws, Taj's dad, David Haradin, created his own shark helmet with a hard hat and aluminum foil. Leslie went as surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost an arm to a shark attack in 2003.
Hundreds of trick-or-treaters roamed the downtown blocks of Lincoln Avenue on Friday night, collecting candy from storefronts, booths set up by local organizations and emergency vehicles in the street.
Candy-addled children were not the only age group in on the fun - at least as many costume-clad adults strolled down the closed highway. KMFU announcers broadcast from Eighth Street and Lincoln Avenue and provided the occasional page for lost 5-year-olds dressed as fruit baskets.
In addition to the expected hoards of witches, ghouls, Harry Potters and Hannah Montanas, Halloween-goers also donned homemade costumes, including a toilet, aquarium and a trio of Starbucks lattes.
The latter idea came to 13-year-old Calyx Ward when she was brainstorming what she and her friends should be for Halloween at - where else - Starbucks.
"I thought it would be cool to just be the cup, with armholes and with your heads sticking out," she said.
Calyx and her friends spent plenty of time of crafting their creations and thoughtfully added a "candy hole" so they could store their Halloween booty in their costumes.
"First, you take a cardboard box, and then you take poster paper and wrap it around it," co-latte Megan Patten, 14, said.
"We blew up the Starbucks symbol at Staples," said Miranda Salky, 13.
Rather than worrying about hands-free candy storage, 12-year-old Nathan DePrey was fretting about his friends eating his costume Friday night.
Nathan and his mom had fashioned a popcorn machine out of cardboard and netting, with plenty of the real deal inside. As Nathan described it as his "best Halloween costume ever," a mischievous friend snuck up and stole a handful of popcorn.
The Downtown Halloween Stroll wound down quickly as the light faded, the candy ran out and the sugar highs subsided. Three-year-old Qwynn Kaaz, clad in her fairy costume, stood giggling on the sidewalk outside Harwig's/L'Apogee, with a face full of glitter and fists full of sour apple candy straws.
"This is the first time she really understood (Halloween), and she's seriously overloaded on sugar," mom, Whitney Kaaz, said. "She's either going to totally pass out, or she'll be up for days."
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