Museum of Northwest Colorado: Halloween madness, 1970s style |

Museum of Northwest Colorado: Halloween madness, 1970s style

Mary Pat Dunn, Museum of Northwest Colorado Registrar
Dick and Jean Henderson serve patrons at their Banana Boat Deli on Yampa Avenue in Craig. They were dressed to participate in the Halloween Madness contest for merchants on Halloween of 1977. The young man at right is unidentified; if anyone know who he is please call the Museum of Northwest Colorado at 824-6360.

On Friday, the Craig Downtown Business Association and the Centennial Mall merchants, along with numerous other local businesses, treated the area’s young (and not-so-young) trick-or-treaters to some sweet delights in the annual Halloween celebration. Halloween festivities are not new to Craig, and there are stories of early day pranks and silliness dating to the very early 1900s that might raise eyebrows today.

In more recent history, Craig downtown businesses and the Country Mall, which burned down in November 2007, joined forces in 1977 to host the Halloween Madness costume event for the Craig merchants. The Museum of Northwest Colorado has numerous photographs taken by local photographer Keith Gillam, showing various local personages in hilarious attire that rendered them, for the most part, unrecognizable. Prizes were given for different categories based on the success and elaborateness of the costumes. At a glance, it is hard to recognize Sharon and Larry Pletcher dressed as clowns and standing in their downtown Sewing Chalet business. Sid Sather posed in his jewelry store, disguised as a long-haired hippie hitching a ride south for the winter.

Perhaps the most unrecognizable characters were Jean and Dick Henderson, dressed as an old hag with her hillbilly companion. Keith Gillam caught them on camera as they were waiting on customers in their Banana Boat Deli on Yampa Avenue. That business was located at 576 Yampa Ave., where Serendipity Coffee Shop was in business for a number of years, and which today houses the LOVEMI Thrift Store.

Businesses on Yampa Avenue come and go with the decades but the holiday traditions held by local businesses continue on, including Halloween festivities. The museum is always looking for photographs to add to their collection in order to document our area’s history. If you have any you would like to share, contact the museum at 824-6360. With the holidays fast approaching, keep the Museum of Northwest Colorado and the Wyman Living History Museum in mind when you have visitors to entertain. Admission at both museums is free, and they are both a great way to pass an hour or two with your guests.

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