ARLINGTON – Pumpkins rolled to the finish line (video), while the candy crush of costumed kids filled trick-or-treat bags visiting downtown businesses during this year’s Hometown Halloween Saturday.
Stilly Valley Youth Dynamics got the festivities rolling with the annual Great Pumpkin Roll down Third Street.
The contest started atop Third Street hill, with the curb keeping most of the bounding and bouncing pumpkins headed toward a hay bale barrier at the bottom near Olympic Avenue.
“We’re going to have a good roll this year,” said Jessica Ronhaar with Youth Dynamics, and family ministry director at Arlington United Church. While Youth Dynamics participates in various fundraisers and events year-round, “We just do this one for fun.”
As in years past, a pickup at the top of the hill had plenty of pumpkins to dole out to competing kids, but others brought their own to race, chosen for their aerodynamics and rolling speed.
Children often chase after their pumpkin if it doesn’t hit something, get airborne and burst on impact. Last year’s event took on proportions of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain when a spectator had to climb up and hang on a rail near the Calvary Arlington Church to evade a menacing high-speed pumpkin.
All the dozens of kids get a prize for participating, and Youth Dynamics takes the pumpkins to local farms for feeding the animals.
Other activities invited people to put their carving and decorating talents to work in the Pumpkin Decorating Contest at Arlington Hardware.
Trick-or-treaters filled the sidewalks along Olympic, with long lines forming outside participating stores. Based on appearances, besides the perennial mix of ghouls, goblins and witches, the popular costumes this year were superheroes, princesses, dinosaurs and Transformers.
One young boy standing up wearing ornately decorated cardboard boxes put on a remarkable show when he folded himself to the ground and became a Transformer vehicle.
A limber Spiderman struck poses by a tree in Legion Park with anyone who wanted photos with him to post to the web.
For the Glenns, dressing up for Hometown Halloween is a family affair.
“We like to do a theme every year,” said mom Brittany, dressed as Santa Claus from The Nightmare Before Christmas, while her husband Dan went as Oogie Boogie, a gunny sack-clad bogeyman, with the children dressed as Jack and the other lead characters.
In the past, they’ve dressed in Harry Potter garb, as Muppets and pirates. This year, dad took home a second place ribbon in the adult category of the costume contest hosted by the Arlington Arts Council, while son Ethan nabbed second place in the age 10-12 division.
“It’s just a fun thing for our family to do, and people can pick us out as a group,” Glenn said. “We’ll be back next year.”
The Arts Council rewarded the most creative costumes in various age brackets. First place winners received $25 gift certificates to the Pizza Factory.
Here is a list of the winners:
Baby — 3 years old
1st place — Ledger Greenfield, monkey with a banana dad
2nd place — Kyler Jahn, Grandma Shark
3rd place — Lucas Davidson, rooster
4-6 years old
1st place — Colten Davidson, recycle bucket
2nd place — Noah Brown, robot
3rd place — Zoey French, unicorn
1st place — Brady Farnes, rocket man
2nd place — Evelyn Bravomenjia, Taco Belle
3rd place — Ava Swayzer, witch
10 – 12
1st place — Ewan Terhune, wizard
2nd place — Ethan Glenn, Jack Skellington, The Nightmare Before Christmas
3rd place — Adam Farnes, LEGO man
13 – 17
1st place — Abby Evans, scarecrow
2nd place— Rebecca Lemke, Captain America
3rd place — Heidi Anderson, American eagle
18 & up
1st — Adam Lee, Spiderman
2nd — Dan Glenn, Santa’s burlap bag, Oogie Boogie, The Nightmare Before Christmas