We were getting sick of going to Uptown Sedona every year, so Isis suggested we go to Old Town Cottonwood this year. The Old Town shops would be giving away candy just like Uptown, but there was also a Fall Carnival with “rides for the kids and tons of treats”. It also had a costume contest for 2 to 7 and 8 to 12 year olds.
This sounded perfect. The boys could get a bunch of candy trick or treating, and then get a ton more treats at the carnival. They would also get to ride some rides, and then mop up at the costume contest. (not to be conceited or anything, but my costumes were WAY better than the 100 store-bought ninja costumes that were there) I was going to have Ez say he was 8 so he didn’t have to compete against his brother. (it’s not that much of a lie, he will be 8 in a month and a half)
As awesome as all of that sounded, the night was anything but. Trick or treating started at 5:00pm, and was supposed to go until 8:00pm. We got there around 5:45pm, and 3/4 of the shops were already closed. Not sure if they had run out of candy, or just closed down before anyone got there so they wouldn’t have to buy candy. Judging by how small the crowd was, I doubt they ran out.
After the 10-15 minutes it took us to go to the few open shops, we headed over to the Carnival. It was on one of the little league baseball fields. There were 5-6 bouncy castles, a seemingly un-manned radio remote truck playing a loop of halloween-ish music, 2 light poles providing not nearly enough light for the field, and one little card table where some dude was selling hot cocoa. There was no obvious sign of anyone in charge, and more importantly no sign of my promised “tons of treats”.
The boys didn’t seem to notice the lameness, and were excited to bounce in the castles. We had to strip off their horns, wings, and hooves so they could go in. I did this more to protect the costumes than to follow the rules, since there wasn’t anyone manning the entrances like there usually are. I finally saw a dude wearing jeans an a t-shirt that might have been working there, but I’m not positive he wasn’t just a dad that enjoyed yelling at other peoples’ kids when they misbehave in the jumpy castle.
The horns, hooves, wings, and vests were getting somewhat cumbersome to carry around from castle to castle. So Am suggested I put them in the car until the contest. BAD IDEA! Halfway to the car Ez’s horns fell and snapped in half. Then as I was opening the car door, Sebs’ horns fell. At first they seemed ok, but then as I was putting everything in the car, I felt a crunch under my foot. A piece had broken out of the side of one of his horns, and then crushed into several smaller pieces when I stepped on it.
Luckily I had brought a hot glue gun, just in case something happened with one of the costumes. I searched around for an electrical outlet, and ended up in the men’s room, on the floor right by the door. Several guys came in and looked at me like I was crazy while I squatted there, waiting for the glue gun to heat up.
By the time I finished gluing everything back together, it was time for the costume contest. I quickly got the boys back into their costumes and rushed them over to the stage. It was a very dimly lit, rickety old stage, that had probably been built in the late 80’s.
A single dude with a microphone asked everyone everyone to line up on stage. A young girl that must have been his daughter was going through a cardboard box full of plastic trophies. I looked around… Where were the judges? Then he explained the rules: “There are 3 categories: scariest, prettiest, and most original. When I put my hand over a costume you like, yell.” So this wasn’t so much a COSTUME contest, as a POPULARITY contest. We definitely weren’t going to win prettiest or scariest. But we should at least be able to get most original.
The first category was scariest. He went down the line, and some not so scary princesses got some cheers, but it came down to a scary clown and a mexican girl that looked like Lily from the Munsters (long black hair, a black cape/dress, and white face makeup with black lips and eyes) He went back and forth a few times, and the witch-girl ended up winning. Not the way I would have gone, but there were a LOT of mexicans, maybe they’re not a fan of clowns.
The next category was prettiest. He went down the line, and I was amazed when this pretty little girl who was a Peacock-Fairy only got a few cheers, probably from her mom and my family. (I might have been a little biased since she and her mom came up to us earlier in the night and complimented our costumes). The dude with the mic kept going down the line, stopping over little girls in princess outfits. Then from the crowd you could hear “the dinosaur, the dinosaur!” He stopped and went back to a little 2-3 year old mexican boy in a dinosaur costume. The crowd went crazy. Needless to say the dinosaur won for prettiest costume. This was not a costume contest, it was a “who brought the most mexicans” contest.
We left the Carnival with nearly no candy, and feeling like the night had been wasted. Next year we’re going to Clarkdale, where Gabe’s kids made out like bandits. Either that or I’m stopping by Windsong to pick up a few amigos for the costume contest.