[Nameplate] Fair ~ 45°F  
High: 73°F ~ Low: 53°F
Friday, May 6, 2016

Halloween costumes can't mask Dugger's resurgent sense of community

Monday, October 29, 2012

(By Mark Stalcup) Mia Marlow, 16, strikes a classic rock-n-roll pose dressed as Gene Simmons during Dugger's Halloween parade. [Order this photo]
DUGGER -- On Friday, Alexis Willis was a living doll -- literally. The baby, only 8 and a half months old, was dressed up as Raggedy Ann by her Mom Chrissy and accompanied -- fittingly -- by her stuffed rag doll 'sibling', Raggedy Andy.

Her wide eyes filled with wonder at the passing parade of ghosts, goblins and glamour queens as the little girl sat on her Mom's lap.

"Mommy wasn't going to do it, and then I thought, yeah, actually we'd better," Chrissy Willis explained. "She's taking it all in. She loves it."

(By Mark Stalcup) Ana Shepler, 10 and dressed as Smurfette, sips a drink during Halloween festivities at Dugger's Community Center Friday. [Order this photo]
It was all part of Dugger's evening out, a Halloween parade revitalized by a community effort that left organizers proud and kids thrilled.

Around 300 people packed into the Dugger Community Center, entering through a spooky scene of coffins on the left and a graveyard on the right. Passing through a hallway where eerie photos changed from antiqued images of families to ghosts and ghouls, guests entered a gym decked out in festive finery where tables of soups, snacks and sandwiches waited.

Mia Marlow, 16, turned famous rocker Gene Simmons into Jean Simmons in a gender-bender of a costume which saw the teenaged girl dress up as the middle-aged Kiss bassist and reality TV star, wielding an ax customized from the "Guitar Hero" video game,

(By Mark Stalcup) Billy Settles Jr. and his wife Susan switched jobs -- and clothes -- for the evening, with the lawman exchanging his patrolman's uniform for surgical scrubs and a fake bosom while his spouse donned his uniforms -- and handcuffed her husband. [Order this photo]
"At the Coal Festival, they had a Kiss cover band. I liked them, so I asked my Mom if I could be a kiss girl," Marlow, 16, said. "I don't know a lot of their music. I just like them."

Ana Shepler, 10, sipped lemonade as Smurfette, complete with oversized gloves.

"She's blue," explained Shepler, who took home a prize for "Most Original Costume" she shared with Marlow.

Wills, meanwhile, split the "Youngest Entrant" prize with her fellow 8-month old Noah Archer, who slumbered much of the parade away dressed warmly as a bag of Wonder Bread.

Behind the lunch counter, Abbi Hollingsworth, 16 dispensed hot, homemade chicken noodle soup and chili dressed as Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz," all smiles and feeling no need to click her ruby red sparkly slippers together to get home. She was, after all, already there.

Adults got into the fun, too.

(By Mark Stalcup) Town Councilmen Kermit King, left, and Dwight Nielson, right, grill some franks in the chilly October evening outside the Dugger Community Center. [Order this photo]
Billy Settles Jr. and his wife Susan switched jobs -- and clothes -- for the evening, with the lawman exchanging his patrolman's uniform for surgical scrubs and a fake bosom while his spouse donned his uniforms -- and handcuffed her husband.

The quick organizing of the effort, proposed earlier this month by Wanda and Bill Ranard during the Dugger Town Council's regular meeting, has revitalized an annual event which had fallen by the wayside.

The Ranards couldn't attend Friday, due to Bill feeling under the weather, Town Council President Dwight Nielson said.

(By Mark Stalcup) Kruz Brumbarger, 2, could be one of the youngest first round draft picks for the Indianapolis Colts, surrounded by his own cheering squad of 4-year-old twin sisters Jayla, left, and Jalee, right. [Order this photo]
"We want people to know they got this started," he said.

But they and many others also credited Terri Heaton with organizing the event and making it more of a family affair than most Halloween celebrations.

"Terri Heaton's really been the force behind this," said Lewellyn. "She's worked her little buns off and gotten this done. I mean, we've been going 15 minutes and look at this."

(By Mark Stalcup) Terri Heaton, left, converses with Samantha Peltier, 19, right. Peltier, dressed as a glamorous devil, won prettiest entrant Friday evening during Dugger's Halloween parade. [Order this photo]
Heaton, however, demurred.

"I don't want to take credit," Terri Heaton explained. "It's really been a town effort. Everybody has thrown in. This only took about a week to get together. Everybody donated. It was just a matter of making some calls."

Family-oriented fun was key, many agreed.

"Terri's idea worked,"Marilyn Booker said. "She got all the families to come out. Most places, people just drop their kids off and then come back later and pick them up."

One couple, Hugh and Mary Kinnard, and their family wouldn't be caught dead missing the party.

Undead, however, was another matter.

The family that preys together, plays together, the Kinnards found, as they dressed up as a clan of zombies. With their daughters Stormy Nite, 8, and Rainy Dae, 12, joining them in ghoulish garb, the quartet posed outside Hugh Kinnard's business van, which had been souped up with spooky interior lighting for the occasion.

"That took me all of five minutes," the owner of Preventative Maintenance said. "That's my business. I built all the coffins and furniture in there, too -- all handmade."

For their efforts, the Kinnards took home "Best Costumed Group," one of several shared prizes Friday.

"All the really good ones made it much harder to choose," contest judge Lesa Lewellyn explained.

Among the other winners, who took home $20 each:

* Betty Heaton, 78, took home honors for "Oldest Costumed Entrant" dressed up as a witch.

* Trey Goodman, 9, took home "Ugliest" honors for his mask of a mohawked monster.

* Brennan Martin took home "Funniest" for his inflatable fat man suit.

* Samantha Peltier, 19, won "Prettiest" for her devil girl in an evening gown.

Outside the Community Center, in the chill air of falling night, Dugger's three town councilmen worked tirelessly, grilling franks for the crowd.

"It worked out pretty good, didn't it?" Councilman Kermit King said with a smile.

"It's something to get started," Nielson concurred, grinning. "It'll be even bigger and better next year."

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on gcdailyworld.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Such a fun night! Thanks for a great story, Mark!

-- Posted by Blueyedame on Mon, Oct 29, 2012, at 8:47 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: