ARLINGTON — Downtown Arlington was thronged with costumed trick-or-treaters of all ages on Saturday, Oct. 26, as the city’s “Hometown Halloween” attracted another year’s round of crowds for the Downtown Arlington Business Association’s trick-or-treating along Olympic Avenue, the Arlington Arts Council’s costume contest at Legion Park and the Arlington United Church’s Harvest Party.
At the age of 7, Evan Tunstall was able to transform his three-month-long obsession with the Titanic into a costume, with considerable assistance from stepdad Brandon Wiederspoon, that took first place in the 6-8 age category of the costume contest.
“He has just been on this Titanic kick lately,” Wiederspoon said of his stepson, whose Titanic costume was not only authentic to many of the minor details of the ship’s design that others might have overlooked, but also boasted a tray in front, at the bow of the ship, for Tunstall to store his Halloween candy. “He’s watched every documentary and read everything he could find at the library about the Titanic.”
“It’s the most famous shipwreck on Earth,” Tunstall said, to explain his fascination with the Titanic, whose costume took “four long nights” to construct, according to his stepdad.
Tanner Siemer, 12, nabbed first place in his own age category of the contest through a simple Google search and a few hours of work with his dad Ryan.
“I just looked up ‘award-winning Halloween costumes,’” said Tanner Siemer, who used a tall trench coat and a creatively positioned tray to make himself look like a headless adult holding a child’s head in a glass jar. “After we bought the trench coat, it took about two to three hours to put together. I was in it to win it.”
“I built the frame in about an hour,” Ryan Siemer said of the apparatus that made the trench coat stand up straight on its own. “It’s like a backpack sling that fits over his shoulders.”
Kylene Mildon slung her infant son Ryan to her chest dressed as a bag of movie popcorn, complete with a cap festooned with a few popped kernels atop his head, but for her family, the other festivities took precedence over the costume contest.
“We just moved here from Everett two months ago, so this is our first ‘Hometown Halloween’ in Arlington,” Kylene Mildon said, as her other son James took part in the bowling for kiddies in the basement playroom of the Arlington United Church. “It’s much more of a small-town feel here, but we were looking to get some peace and quiet, outside of the big city. I love it so far. There’s so much going on here, and I love that the kids can go get candy during the day, when it’s safer.”