Ready. Set. Roll. - Hometown Halloween attracts attendees from Arlington and beyond

One of eight groups of about 15 pumpkins in each group launch their pumpkins from McLeod Avenue down First Street at 2:30 Saturday in the 7th annual Great Arlington Pumpkin Roll, which attracts kids of all ages who bring all shapes and sizes of pumpkins and even some gourds for the race down the steepest hill in town. -
One of eight groups of about 15 pumpkins in each group launch their pumpkins from McLeod Avenue down First Street at 2:30 Saturday in the 7th annual Great Arlington Pumpkin Roll, which attracts kids of all ages who bring all shapes and sizes of pumpkins and even some gourds for the race down the steepest hill in town.
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ARLINGTON Halloween fell on a Tuesday this year, but that didnt stop the city of Arlington from celebrating its Hometown Halloween Oct. 28, to give community members a full Saturday to celebrate the occasion in the downtown district.
The family-friendly festivities kicked off with the Arlington Hardware and Lumber Great Pumpkin decorating contest announcing and displaying its winning entries at 11 a.m.
Spectators were overwhelmed with more than 70 submissions, in five different age groups, and in award categories such as best carved, best painted and even best story theme.
These kids put a lot of hard work into their pumpkins, said Kristi Cook, an Arlington Hardware and Lumber cashier who assisted in coordinating this years contest. They really enjoy it and Ive heard so many parents comment on how wonderful it is that their children have someplace safe to go out each year.
Movie stars appeared to be a pervasive theme among this years crop of competitors, which included two renditions of famous cartoon fat cat Garfield, a green-painted one-eyed Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc., a parrot and peg-leg adorned Jack SparrOLantern from Pirates of the Caribbean, and an intricately sculpted take on V, the masked outlaw from V For Vendetta, the latter of which was submitted too late to be judged officially.
Its amazing what they can come up with, said Jane OHagan, who escorted her cowboy sons, 11-year-old John and 10-year-old Daniel, as well as their friends, eight-year-old sisters Devon and Brooke Singleton, through the Hometown Halloween activities.
As Devon and Brooke proudly modeled their fairy and gothic cheerleader outfits, respectively, OHagan reported that all four children were eagerly anticipating trick-or-treating later in the day.
The rest of Olympic Avenues merchants opened their doors to those trick-or-treaters and more from noon to 1 p.m., clogging the sidewalks with costumed children and adults alike, none of whom appeared to mind the congestion of foot traffic.
The kids look so cute in their costumes and they get a kick out of seeing us grown-ups dress up, too, said Georgia Swift of the New Beginnings Thrift Store, as she dispensed handfuls of candy while wearing a blonde wing and black angel wings. They like our reactions to them because we really go nuts over their outfits.
While the employees of the Magic Shears Styling Salon remained in plainclothes for the day, they still doled out candy to make trick-or-treaters smile, while also hauling out a Halloween scarecrow to give them a little scare.
According to employee Lynn Thompson, the scarecrow of the Medusa hairstylist was meant to be business co-owner Debbie Howell, while the Corpse Bride in the customer chair was meant to be Johnson herself, in honor of her newlywed status.
Every merchant should do this, every year, Howell said. Its great to see the kids all dressed up and it helps our neighbors know who and where we are.
The Pirates of Stanwood were among the many swashbucklers and buccaneers to put in an appearance at the Arlington event, as six-year-old Cullen Boussard joined eight-year-old Montana Stinson and his 11-year-old brother, Morgan, in leading their looting and pillaging for candy downtown, while the Stinsons 15-year-old sister, Kelli Anne, father Cory, and mother Nicole followed with the rest of their family.
Weve been coming here for the past four years, said Nicole Stinson, whos had six generations of family in Arlington. We know the city, we know the businesses and we feel safe bringing our kids here.
Little Italy Italian Market owner Carla Lowe literally had trick-or-treaters lined up all the way out her door and it didnt take long before my cheeks were hurting from smiling at all of their costumes.
Its a treat for us, as well as for them, Lowe said. We need to support our local community, not just to survive but to thrive. Thats what makes Arlington such a unique place and thats why people move here.
Wanda Wilhonen conducted the pumpkin pie contest in front of City Hall at 1 p.m., as judges Mack Miller, Jim Shaw and Ken Countryman sampled small bites of five pumpkin pies, grading them on their filling, texture, pastry and presentation.
After the anonymous taste tests, Chris Bateham was declared the grand prize winner, while Tammy Kaminskis two pies collected first and third place, leaving Beth Countryman with second place.
By 1:15 p.m., a sizable crowd had gathered to take part in the costume contest in front of City Hall.
Marysvilles two-year-old Rashon Miller received second place as Mickey Mouse, while Darringtons three-year-old Mikah Dewberry was awarded third place for her fairy costume, and Marysvilles three-year-old Finala Sabick took home first place for her tie-dye outfit, in the 0-3 age group.
In the 4-6 age group, six-year-old Abigail Palmer of Arlington nabbed first place as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, while four-year-old Kaija Dahle of Whidbey Island scored second place for her cat-girl costume, and six-year-old Peter Curtis of Arlington was handed third place for his Knights Kingdom armor.
In the 7-9 age group, eight-year-old Charm School witch Selena Gutierrez earned second place, while fellow eight-year-old Liam Johnny Appleseed Austin came in at third place, and seven-year-old Haley Hakenson was named first place, as a serious-faced Honey Bucket.
Arlingtons 10-year-old hippie Wendy Hughes picked up first place, while angel-winged fellow Arlington native and 10-year-old Phoenix Moreno was presented with second place, and glowing green skeleton Zakk Welter, also 10 years old and from Arlington, got third place, in the 10-12 age group.
Finally, Lakewoods 13-year-old geisha twins, Lauren Hippenstiel and Charate Dondreu, tied for first place, while Arlingtons 13-year-old Jacob Einstein Hughes was recognized with third place, and inflatable clown Robert Fleming, 44 years old and also from Arlington, floated away with second place, in the 13 and up age group of the costume contest.
As the Pumpkin Roll progressed on First Street and the auditorium at 135 S. French Ave. prepared for a 3:30 p.m. screening of the original King Kong, parent Tracy Legler cheered on her childrens pumpkins.
They never stopped talking about the pumpkin roll all year long, Legler said.

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