Dress to kill

Kids, adults gear up for a spooky Halloween

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Crystal Gonzales loves her job as Kmart's seasonal merchandise manager because she gets to see how excited kids get for Halloween.

"I love to just hear them and how happy they are," she said. "They can't wait."

If you go Trick-or-treat downtown and at Centennial Mall, 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31

Halloween night life

While kids are pounding the streets for sweets, adults have plenty going on across town to entertain them this holiday.

Carelli's Carelli's will hold beer tasting at 6 p.m. Oct. 31. The charge is $15 for food, beer and a performance by Muse Mason and the Belltones.

"After trick-or-treating, drop your kids off and come get drunk," Carelli's owner Jim Diehl said.

Holiday Inn

The Craig Holiday Inn will host a costume party at 9 p.m. Oct. 29. The cover charge is $5, and attendees must be at least 21 years old.

The Texas Hold 'Em poker game Oct. 30 will be a costume party, as well. The free games begin at 7 and 9:30 p.m. The Kenny Bradberry Band will give free performances at 9 p.m. Oct. 27 through 29.

Mathers' Bar & Grill

Mathers' Bar & Grill is having a Halloween party Oct. 29, which will feature a costume contest with prizes and Halloween drink specials.

The Popular Bar

The Popular Bar is holding a Halloween party starting at 7 p.m. Oct. 29. There will be a costume contest and a raffle, with a variety of prizes, benefiting St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

Craig Rotary Club will not be holding its haunted house this year.

And with only 10 days left until trick-or-treat time, they don't have to wait much longer. The Downtown Business Association and Centennial Mall will hold trick-or-treating from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31.

So what characters will be haunting the streets?

Gonzales said Disney princesses are the hot costume for girls, as are angels.

"It seems the middle school kids all want to be Snow White, Cinderella and Belle," Katie Johnson, owner of Katie's Kostumes, agreed. "They want to be pretty."

Boys want to be Spiderman and Batman.

"It's just what they see. They have so many superheroes," Gonzales said. "They're so cute."

For infants, Gonzales said Kmart has animal costumes that play music with the squeeze of the costumes' ear.

"They are adorable," she said.

Adult looks range from hippies to inmates and Freddy Krueger to Darth Vader. Gonzales said couples costumes are popular, too, this year, and range from bleeding masks to medieval partners.

Johnson said medieval and Renaissance dresses are her biggest rentals, and saloon girls are always a hit. Winnie the Pooh is a classic that Johnson said kids and adults enjoy.

Her shop, on Washington Street, includes 2,000 costumes available for rent between $15 and $30. She recently expanded her shop, moving it out of a trailer and into a building, giving her customers more room to browse.

Gonzales said Kmart's selection ranges in prices as high as $30 but that this weekend's sale will give those looking for the perfect costume a price break. Sales will continue through the holiday.

The Community Budget Center is offering inexpensive costumes, too. On Oct. 28 and 29, customers can fill a paper sack with as many clothes as they can fit for $5. Also, all Halloween items are half off today and Saturday.

And manager Karen Brown said there is plenty of selection.

"We still have a lot to choose from," Brown said. "There are a lot of items for sale."

This year, cheerleading uniforms have been the biggest seller, and she's got some ideas for unique costumes. The shop has a variety of styles from the 1960s, giving people that Brady Bunch feel. Plus, customers can mix and match items to get a creative costume.

"We save everything strange we find throughout the year, and we save it out for Halloween," she said.

But trick-or-treaters need to use caution when out candy-hunting, said Bill Leonard, administrative sergeant with the Craig Police Department.

"They need to be visible," he said. "Either carry a flashlight or we'd actually prefer they stay in well-lit areas."

He advised youths to obey traffic signals and stay on the sidewalks. Make sure the costume's shoes are easy to walk in and the costume does not drag on the ground, he said. Stay away from pets and only approach houses that are lit. Never enter a home of a stranger, Leonard warned.

Also, he recommends homeowners clear their yards and secure pets. Battery-powered lights for jack-o-lanterns are preferable to candles.

More than anything, Leonard said, use common sense and have a safe and fun Halloween.

For more information, call Kmart at 824-2966, Katie's Kostumes at 826-2611, the Community Budget Center at 824-7898 or the Craig Police Department at 826-2360.

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