The Halloween season provides an excuse for revelers to get a little crazy with costumes, stepping outside their comfort zone.
Partygoers and young trick-or-treaters had hundreds of outfits to choose from this year in Watertown at Party Rentals, 780 W. Main St., and Halloween City, 1125 Arsenal St. Kathleen E. and Paul G. Carr surprised their friends by transforming themselves into a convincing Cleopatra and Pharaoh for a Halloween party Saturday at the Crescent Yacht Club in Chaumont. Mrs. Carr wore a wig draped with gold beads, while her husband, taller, wore a head scarf featuring a symbol of the Egyptian king.
It was the first year at the annual party that the couple wore costumes, said Mrs. Carr, who returned the outfits Tuesday to Party Rentals.
If this wig had been made with real gold, like Cleopatras, it would have been incredibly heavy, she said, holding up the glitzy item.
Costume hunters will notice an array of new costumes rolled out this season by Party Rentals, including a giant squirrel with a pair of acorns, a turkey, a giraffe, a lobster, a football and a massive double cheeseburger, which no one has been brave enough yet to wear. On average, the rental costumes are about $20 apiece.
Business has slowed here compared with last year, employee Kim M. Brislan said, but she expects a surge in customers as Halloween nears. Prices have been dropped this season to compete with Halloween City. The most expensive outfits are now $35 apiece; they used to be $65.
Most of the parties were last weekend, because Halloween is in the middle of the week, she said. But everyone waits until the last minute to get costumes.
Though its rarely chosen by partygoers, employee Dot A. Derrigo said, one of the quirkiest costumes depicts a dark-brown cockroach with tentacles.
Ive been trying for years to get one of the county health inspectors to wear this, but he doesnt think it would be funny, she said.
On Tuesday at Halloween City, Alexandria Bay resident Jay T. Kittle was initially at a loss, costume-wise. But as an employee guided the 35-year-old through the store, he whittled down his search to two outfits. He first considered buying a high-tech space-alien mask with an automatic talking mouth that is triggered by scanning a QR code with a smartphone. But after hearing the boisterous response of his wife, Nicole E., when he tried on a mask portraying President Obama, his choice was made easy. He bought it for $9.99.
Im dressing up for work on Halloween, said Mr. Kittle, an employee at Bay Spirits liquor store on Route 12 in Alexandria Bay.
Masks also feature former politicians Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, with the latter on clearance for $10. Another mask depicting President Obama includes a talking mic featuring zany campaign quotes. One , for example, says: I love this neighborhood, but where exactly am I?
This season, superheroes and outfits for popular television shows are in high demand among children. Ernest H. Brown, 11, was looking for a long fake beard and eyeglasses to dress like one of the duck hunters who star in Duck Dynasty, a reality television series on A&E. The shows features the lives of the Robertson family from Louisiana.
I want to be the guy on the show named Si, he said. His role is being goofy.