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Frightfully fantastic costume ideas

One of the favorite holidays for children is right around the corner and parents and communities are busy making plans.

Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on the Halloween holiday, making it the nation’s second largest commercial holiday, according to history.com.

While some children wear store-bought costumes, others are hand-made.

Jaythan Howard, 6, of Marietta, said he is excited about his costume this year. He plans to be Ash Ketchum from Pokemon.

The character, with its signature red and white ballcap, gloves, blue and white shirt over a dark T-shirt, and jeans, is iconic for fans of Pokemon.

“I’m making his costume. I’m in the middle of making it now, actually,” said Heather Howard, Jaythan’s mother. “I’ve been working on it a couple of weeks.”

Last year, Jaythan was another iconic pop figure. He went dressed as Mario from Mario Bros.

When it comes to trick-or-treating, Jaythan has his favorite candy and place to visit.

“I like M&Ms,” he said. “I kinda like to trick-or-treat in Devola with my friends, Jake and Luke.”

Devola seems to be a popular spot for trick-or-treaters, as 9-year-old Ayva Womack of Marietta also likes to go there.

“There’s no one on our street, so we go to Devola to trick-or-treat because we used to live there,” she said, noting that last year, she dressed as a broken doll.

She isn’t a fan of Halloween parades, but there is an activity she enjoys.

“We don’t go to parades but we do go to haunted houses, like the one in Devola, because it’s changed up every year,” Womack said.

This year, she wants to dress in an unusual manner.

“I want to dress like people who fight in the Hunger Games. I like how they fight for food,” she said. She hopes to get her favorite candy, Kit Kats, but as long as it’s chocolate, she said she’ll be happy.

Twin 5-year-old sisters Evelyn and Olivia Schlicher of Marietta, are also fans of Kit Kats and M&Ms.

The girls had two sets of costumes last year – one for trick-or-treating and one to wear to school.

“Last year, Evelyn was a ladybug and Olivia was a bumblebee for trick-or-treating,” said their mother, Amity Schlicher.

She said tutus and wings were found at Joann Fabrics, and they wore black outfits underneath.

For school, Olivia dressed as a pirate, while Evelyn went as a witch.

This year, the costume hasn’t been decided, but the girls have their wishes.

“I want to be Maleficent,” declared Olivia.

“I want to be an evil queen,” added Evelyn.

Ezra Turner, 4, of Mineral Wells, was enthusiastic about his costume this year — an alligator.

“It has spots and it looks like Halloween,” he said, growling like an alligator. “I wanted to be a ghost this time and then a crocodile.”

His sister, 7-year-old Emery, is shy, but Ezra was more than happy to say what costume she would have.

“Emery’s going to be a witch!” he said.

Last year, Emery went as Rosalina from Mario Bros., while Ezra dressed as another water creature, although he couldn’t pronounce what it was.

“I was a (lobster)!” he said loudly, although it sounded more like “monster.”

People who want to dress up for Halloween have two main options — either buy off the rack costumes or cobble together a hand-made costume.

Hannah Maxon, who works in the costume section at Kmart in Marietta, said people have come in looking for very specific costumes.

“They’ve asked about PAW Patrol and Doc McStuffins,” she said. “Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. JoJo (Siwa) is a hot one.”

She said so far, they’ve sold a lot of more basic costumes.

“We’ve also sold some Freddy Krueger,” she noted. “We’ve also sold a lot of witch costumes for pre-teen girls.”

Those wanting a more personalized look often choose the hand-made costume route.

Rachel Williams of Joann Fabrics in Marietta said most of their costume-making customers come in around the middle of month, as they are finalizing their creations.

“Like they’ll need a mourning veil,” Williams said with a laugh. “They usually come in with rather interesting requests and we try to figure that out using unconventional methods.”

One costume in particular had her chuckling, remembering how odd of a request it was.

“This one kid said he wanted to be a chicken nugget,” she said. “He desperately wanted to be a chicken nugget. That was the most unusual costume request I’ve had. I waiting for his sibling to want to be a cup of dip.”

She said they figured out how to make his costume by making it out of felt, which was a stiff enough material.

Williams added their store used to have more options in terms of ready-made costumes, but if they don’t have what the customer needs, she helps them out with that, too.

“We direct them into a way that they could achieve the costume,” she said. “Instead of buying a plastic dome for a guy who wanted to be Mr. Freeze, we help them find alternative solutions.”

She said a lot of the customers she’s seen haven’t been looking for a specific costume.

“But there have been a few that were purchasing for their little werewolves and whatnot,” she said.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

Trick or treat times:

¯ Marietta – 6:30-8 p.m., Oct. 26.

¯ Devola — 6:30-8 p.m., Oct. 26.

¯ Reno — 6:30-8 p.m., Oct. 26.

¯ Oak Grove — 6:30-8 p.m., Oct. 26.

¯ Williamstown — 6:30-8 p.m,. Oct. 26.

¯ Lowell – 6-7:30 p.m., Oct. 26.

¯ Barlow — 6-7:30 p.m., Oct. 31.

¯ Vincent — 6-7:30 p.m., Oct. 31.

¯ Beverly – 6:30-8 p.m., Oct. 31.

¯ Waterford — 6:30-8 p.m., Oct. 31.

¯ Belpre – 6-7:30 p.m., Oct. 31.

Source: Times research.

Popular costumes:

¯ Superhero – Characters such as Batman, Captain Marvel or Shazam.

¯ Toddlers – Baby shark, unicorns or PAW Patrol.

¯ TV and movies – Toy Story 4, Pennywise from “IT,” or Stranger Things.

¯ Inflatables – Dinosaurs or unicorns.

¯ Video games – Characters from Overwatch, Minecraft, Pokemon or Fortnite.

Source: Party City.

Top 10 best Halloween candies:

¯ Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

¯ Snickers.

¯ Twix.

¯ Kit Kat.

¯ M&Ms.

¯ Nerds.

¯ Butterfinger.

¯ Sour Patch Kids.

¯ Skittles.

¯ Hershey Bar.

Source: Candystore.com

Top 10 worst Halloween candies:

¯ Candy Corn.

¯ Circus Peanuts.

¯ Peanut Butter Kisses.

¯ Wax Coke Bottles.

¯ Necco Wafers.

¯ Tootsie Rolls.

¯ Smarties.

¯ Licorice.

¯ Good & Plenty.

¯ Bit-o-Honey.

Source: Candystore.com