FAIRBANKS - Whether it’s sunny or snowy, the Fairbanks community loves any excuse to dress in costume, and this Halloween is no exception. Inside Value Village, local tricksters and treaters gear up for the holiday weekend by transforming into ghosts, goblins, witches, warlocks and other odd creations. The plan: going out on the town in search of candy and a good time.
Halloween is the biggest time of the year for local costume vendor Party Palace, which has been outfitting trick-or-treaters for the last 13 years.
“This is my favorite time of year,” store manager Amanda Holland said. “It’s been super sweet and super swamped.”
Holland said since the beginning of the month, she’s worn a different costume every day to work and has enjoyed seeing the creative costume ideas flourish among customers.
“One of our most popular costumes this year has been gorillas and bananas but don’t ask me why,” she said. “We’re seeing lots of couples come in and one will dress as a gorilla and the other as a banana.” Holland said another husband and wife couple plan to go as a pumpkin and Peter Peter Pumpkin eater.
“Pirates are always popular no thanks to Johnny Depp, and so are pigs this year. Everyone wants to do something with swine flu,” she said. The Party Palace has actually had to scramble to find additional pig noses and tails in their inventory, Holland said.
She loves the creativity that spawns from the holiday, she said.
“I love seeing costumes that people have thought of yet and it’s always fun to see how people accessorize. It’s the biggest time of year for us,” she said.
Just down the road, thrifty costume makers are filling the aisles of Value Village, rummaging through the neon-pink wigs, horrifying masks and those motion-sensor screaming machines people place on their doorstep to scare trick-or-treaters.
“It’s my favorite holiday of the year,” Dori Van Winkle, 22, said. As she walked by one of those machines, a screaming plastic corpse rose from its grave with arms extended like a zombie.
A store clerk walking by rolled his eyes at the ghoulish screaming creature, probably because he’s heard it dozens of times since the Halloween rush began. VanWinkle just laughed and continued picking out accessories for her witch costume.
“I live for this cheesy stuff,” she said. “It’s just a good holiday to let go and have some fun, be someone or something else for a few hours and eat a lot of candy.” She was picking out green and black striped tights for her witch costume, which she said she plans to wear to school and again on Saturday at a costume party at The Blue Loon.
Down the aisle, a little girl was dragging a pink sparkled princess dress across the floor as she followed her mother through the store.
“She told me she wanted to be a princess for Halloween back in July,” Erin Lewis said. Her daughter, Maggie, age 5, twirled around her mother and adjusted the plastic princess crown she’d already placed on her head.
“It’s a good holiday for kids, even if they probably eat a little too much sugar,” Lewis said. “Some of my favorite memories as a kid are dressing up as a pirate for Halloween.”
Lewis said she plans to take Maggie to the University of Alaska for Halloween this year.
“It’s too cold to trick-or-treat and UAF always has some cool games and activities going on for the family,” she said. “They make it easy.”
Whether it’s a family-friendly indoor Halloween festival or a late night costume dance party at a local night club, there is a community-wide assortment of activities for all ages.
Halloween Howl, 10:30 a.m., stories and fun, costumes welcome, for 3-6 year olds, Noel Wien Public Library Berry Room,1215 Cowles St., 459-1052
Halloween at the UA Museum of the North, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.. See bugs, bats, bears and more in the UA Museum of the North’s research labs and explore the galleries in a scavenger hunt. The event is for costumed children age 12 and under with adult supervision. Admission is free with donation of canned food for the Fairbanks Community Food Bank. Call 474-7505 for more information.
Fall Carnival, 6:30-8:30 p.m., games and prizes, concessions and bake sale for kids up to sixth-grade. New Hope Methodist Presbyterian Church, 2371 Bradway Road, North Pole, 488-9191
Halloween Trance Dance, 8-10 p.m., with Donna Lanni, live DJ, fog and laser soul shakedown extravaganza, hosted by Infin8 Yoga of Alaska, $15 or $10 and 3 cans of food (to benefit the food bank), Artisan’s Courtyard, 1755 Westwood Way
Weird and Creepy Halloween Bash, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The UAF Wood Center will host a full slate of activities for children and young teens with adult supervision, including pumpkin bowling, face painting, costume contests and photos, fishing in the “piranha pond,” a haunted hallway, free bowling and Wii games, a scavenger hunt, dancing to “Thriller” and costumed jugglers. Call 474-7037 for more information.
Chilling Children’s Carnival, 5:30 to 8 p.m., UAF Residence Life will host trick-or-treating and a Halloween carnival at the Moore-Bartlett-Skarland Complex. The carnival will include a variety of activities and games, as well as “Alice’s Wicked Wonderland Haunted House.” All children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Call 474-7247 for more information.
Halloween Dance, 8:30-11:30 p.m., sponsored by Ballroom Dance Club of Fairbanks. Come in a costume and get in for free or $5, Pioneer Park Dance Hall, 456-3331 or www.ballroomfairbanks.org
Halloween Party with Girls With Guitars, 9 p.m., The Big I, 122 N. Turner St., 456-6437
Halloween party with Nostalgic Jam, 9 p.m., Chatanika Lodge, free, 389-2164
Silver Spur halloween party, 9:30 p.m., 285 Old Richardson Highway, 456-6300
Halloween party with Funk Trolley, 10 p.m. Howling Dog Saloon, 2160 Old Steese Highway, 456-4695
The Blue Loon halloween party, 9 P.M., 299 Parks Highway, 457-5666
Halloween Carnival, 1:30-6 p.m., for children up to 12. Haunted house, games, cakewalk, fishing for prizes, face painting, tarot card readings and more, West Valley High School, $1, 479-4221
Halloween Tea House Activities, 12:39-10 p.m., candy for kids, tea bingo, coloring, cookie decorating, tea blending and movies. Discounts for those in costume, Sipping Streams Tea House. 3535 College Road, 457-1660