The 28TH ANNUAL Festival at Bel Air HALLOWEEN COSTUME EVENT and Trick-or-Treat, Saturday morning, October 29, 2016, was a huge success.
Enjoying balmy, sunny fall weather, approximately 3,000 adults and children filled the parking lot in front of Rite Aid, and were later joined by a huge additional crowd of children, trick-or-treating the 65 stores in the center until 2 pm!
All kids in costumes received imprinted durable TRICK-OR-TREAT bags and candy, courtesy of the Festival Merchants. the COSTUME CONTEST started shortly after 11 am and featured about 200 separate entrants, some of which were single costumes and some of which were groups or family; these entrants stayed while most of the crowd departed to go trick-or-treating.
Preliminary judging was by Special Guests “Anna & Elsa” (from Frozen), “Belle” (from Beauty and the Beast), Scrunchie from ShopRite and Chuck E. Cheese; these judges narrowed the entrants down first to 35 semi-finalists, then to 12 FINALISTS. Finalist costumes included: Willa Wonka’s Chocolate Factory; Alice in Wonderland; Alice Family from the Tim Burton Movie; Rubik’s Cube; Grandma and Grandpa; Cinderella in her Coach; Chain Saw Massacre; Wicked Witch and Flying Monkey; Justice League of America with Batmobile; and even a Postal Delivery Family Unit!
The 3 main winners were chosen by CROWD ACCLAMATION, with the loudest cheers winning. The winners were:
GRAND PRIZE: $150 TATIANA JOHNSON from Port Deposit, as a Jungle Girl.
2ND PLACE: $100 JAYDA GULLION from Forest Hill, as Cinderella.
3RD PLACE: $75 BRAEDYN WOOD from Elkton, as a Coke Machine.
Prizes were gift certificates to FESTIVAL stores in the above denominations.
According to Mike Blum, coordinator of the event, “As usual, we saw some really wonderful and creative costumes. It’s difficult to manage so many people, including all ages from newborns in arms to very senior citizens, and not a few pets, but thanks to the good nature of the community and the helpful attitude of all involved, I think it was a fun event. We only wish we could award ALL who came to the Festival today!” Blum adds.
The entire event was free to all, and produced by the Festival at Bel Air shopping center, Route 24 at Bel Air South Parkway. “Anna,” “Elsa” and “Belle” were provided by The Magic Continues Character Company of Forest Hill, Maryland. Photos of the event may be seen on the Festival FACEBOOK page: