Mya Chase, 5, examines a purple parasol Sunday while searching for a Halloween costume in Steamboat Springs. The holiday is looming and will close down Lincoln Avenue on Thursday as hundreds of children and adults don costumes and fill the street from 5 to 7 p.m.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Mya Chase, 5, examines a purple parasol Sunday while searching for a Halloween costume in Steamboat Springs. The holiday is looming and will close down Lincoln Avenue on Thursday as hundreds of children and adults don costumes and fill the street from 5 to 7 p.m.

Creativity key in Halloween costume hunt

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Downtown Halloween Stroll

  • Thursday, October 31, 2013, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Downtown Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs
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— Mya Chase faced quite the dilemma Sunday afternoon at The Costume Party shop in Steamboat Springs.

The 5-year old already had decided what she wanted to be for Halloween: a turtle with rainbow hair, “because I love rainbows.”

Alas, while there was no shortage of costumes in the store, there wasn’t a single “turtle with rainbow hair” ensemble. That didn’t stop her, of course. She tried on every set of fairy wings the store had, then found a barrel of colorful umbrellas — think "Gone with the Wind," not rainy day.

“I think I’ll take this one,” she announced as she popped open a purple parasol, not hesitating to clear it with the person with the cash or waiting to reconcile the addition with her turtle/rainbow aspirations.

Whether she knew it or not, she was following one of the golden rules of Halloween costumes: Be creative.

That’s the advice The Costume Party’s Sandy Pugh gave out Sunday as the big day crept closer.

Halloween and Steamboat Springs’ annual Downtown Halloween Stroll are coming up Thursday. The stroll will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Lincoln Avenue between Fifth and 11th streets, with the street closed down and traffic diverted around in a detour.

Merchants will hand out candy and treats, and there will be a costume contest.

Those hoping to score big at that contest, or to simply blend in with the festivities, still have time, local costume shop owners said.

Colorado Event Rentals, at 2620 South Cooper Frontage on the west end of Steamboat, still has plenty of costumes and accessories, owner Torey Wodnik said.

She said the store typically decides where to focus its Halloween inventory by picking the brains of the staff, mostly young men.

That led them to one particular direction this year.

“They’re all big fans of 'Duck Dynasty,' which is why we were attracted to that,” she said.

There’s been a run on the big-bearded TV show gear. And on Sunday afternoon, the shop still had a few options remaining from that program to go with the seemingly endless options for other costumes.

“We’re always having a lot of fun,” Wodnik said. “When we’re working, we dress up to show off some of the different costume options and we have our shop all decorated with a Jack the Ripper theme. We’re trying to get that Halloween feel throughout the shop.”

Back at The Costume Party, at 2851 Riverside Plaza, in the old Sears location, there aren’t new packaged costumes available, but instead the rental inventory from the Celebrations store that closed in Steamboat in 2008. Rentals still are available, though everything in the store is for sale.

Pugh still helps supply local theater groups with costumes, then after the shows, the business puts the gear out for sale. So, for instance, a recent production of "Grease" means there’s now a whole rack of poodle skirts.

There are plenty of other options, as well. Some, such as actual military uniforms or old prom dresses, could be a part of something bigger, while others, like an adult Buzz Lightyear outfit, are more straightforward.

“I just love this,” Pugh said. “It’s just fun to watch people get creative and see what they can do with the stuff.”

Shop owners said Saturday was their biggest day so far, and that traffic should be heavy Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, too. Both local stores plan to stay open until Saturday, figuring this year’s festivities might linger into the next weekend.

Their ultimate advice, no matter if shopping today or Thursday, was be adaptable and creative. Search the stores, find fun items and be prepared to have your plan altered, because no matter how much you want to be a turtle with rainbow hair, sometimes you find a purple umbrella you simply can’t put down.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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