Creative costumes prevail as tykes march through rain

WARRENSBURG - Neither rainy weather nor a weekend date hampered the fun Saturday at Warrensburg's annual Halloween parade.

About 300 children participated in the festivities, which included a march down Main Street and a concluding party held at Warrensburg Elementary School, complete with costume judging.

The events have been a beloved tradition in the community for at least three decades. The event is sponsored by the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co.

"With Halloween falling on a Saturday, we didn't think it would be very well attended," Fire Co. President Kevin Geraghty said. "But it was one of the biggest we've had."

Rain didn't dampen the spirits, either. he said.

"The weather was bad, but the kids just came down the streets in droves," he said. "We said, to heck with it, we're going to go ahead with the parade - those kids were troopers, marching through the rain like they did."

While many parades are featuring more and more store-bought getups, many local parents in the Warrensburg area work with their children to create fanciful, humorous costumes, inspiring their creativity and making memories for a lifetime, costume judge Lori Combs said.

She and Gail Olden, Patricia Ross and Maureen Sprague had the difficult task of choosing among the many dozens of homemade getups this year, she said.

"There were so many creative costumes, it's getting so hard to judge the contest," she said.

Some of the notable ones were crafted by parent Diana Kelly, who has made humorous and engaging disguises for her children for years. For this year's Halloween parade, she created a "Mount Rushmore" costume, featuring three of the four presidents' heads portrayed faithfully in paper mache and the fourth bust, of course, was the head of the marcher, one of her children.

"It was really good work," Combs said, noting that another child of Kelly's was garbed as a Quaker granola bar, and another was a Mario character.

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