The annual Halloween Costume Contest features a fa-boo-lous display of spirit

Rori Anderson

A witch, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a group of Waldos stood together among many others, waiting to be seen by the panel of judges during the annual Halloween Costume Contest on Oct. 31. The categories included homemade, scariest, best group and the coveted prize of best overall, with all the winners receiving candy, and in front of a cheering crowd, each participant strutted across the amphitheater stage showing off their creativity and spirit. 

Continuing this tradition, the leadership class always looks forward to the lunch costume contest. David Plescia, one of the leadership teachers, recognizes the various forms of preparation his students take to ensure the contest runs smoothly.

“Getting the sound system out [to the amphitheater], publishing on social media platforms and getting our various prizes for different categories [are all part of the setup],” Plescia said. 

Stephen Hart, one of the winners of the teacher group costume, often dresses up with fellow colleagues Erin Schneider and Danielle Kestenbaum in hopes of showing his spirit and taking home the prize.

“Schneider and I have done a joint costume pretty much every year for almost 10 years minus COVID-19. … We put a lot of effort into our ideas, so it is nice to have it recognized,” Hart said. 

Although he secured his first contest win this year, Hart has not let his losses affect his Halloween spirit or costume quality.  

“I love Halloween. I just think it is fun. I love the idea of being able to be goofy and express yourself in different ways. … [The costume contest is] a fun way to get involved, be spirited and it usually makes kids laugh, so that’s just a bonus,” Hart said. 

I’ve noticed over the years a decrease in the number of students who dress up, which I think is really sad. ”

— Stephen Hart

Other winners included the student group, classroom 301, who dressed as characters from “Harry Potter,” and junior David Halpern who dressed as Michael Myers from the “Halloween” movie series to win the scariest costume category. Additionally, senior Evan Daly won the best overall dressed category as “sergeant short pants,” and the best homemade costume went to senior Sophia Power, dressed as a witch. 

Senior Julian Bal’s costume was of Ash Williams, a character from one of his favorite horror movie series, “The Evil Dead.” While he did not win, he was still extremely excited to participate in the contest this year. 

“[Ash Williams is] the only horror movie protagonist who has a chainsaw in his hand. He’s a good guy, believe it or not,” Bal said. “I watched the movies for the first time over the summer and absolutely loved them. I’m in drama so that’s the kind of acting I want to do, the kind of over-the-top horror comedy.”

While Bal is definitely not alone in his excitement, Hart has observed a decline in student Halloween participation over the years.

“I’ve noticed over the years a decrease in the number of students who dress up, which I think is really sad. I would say when I started here at least a third or so of the student body dressed up, and it has really gone down, especially since COVID-19. It would be nice to see people bring that spirit back and be different, [taking] one day a year to go all out,” Hart said.

The Halloween Costume Contest is a time when students and teachers are able to come together and celebrate their spirited costumes. Plescia greatly enjoyed seeing contestants’ ideas come to life this year during the contest and looks forward to next year. 

“It’s nice to see everyones costumes. If you don’t have class with various students you are not going to get an opportunity [to see their costume] unless you come out [to the amphitheater],” Plescia said.