November 3, 2010

Even the big folks went all out for Halloween on Ocracoke


Anicipation had been building for weeks on Ocracoke.
I hadn’t seen this much excitement among my peers for Halloween since the sixth grade.

It began in August when my neighbor, Lyn Taylor, began talking about what she and her husband, Jamie, were contemplating for costumes.

I had to admit that I hadn’t given it a thought because for the last couple of decades I’ve been dealing with what my kids wanted to be for Halloween, not me. 

Now, as an empty nester, I could get back into the fun, but what to be was still a question.

When I had to go to Virginia Beach in early September, I made a stop in a newly opened Halloween store on Virginia Beach Blvd. to check out the latest ready-made costumes. Though the selection was huge, and purchasing one of these would have easily solved the question, I declined their wares.

I don’t like to wear masks, but I’ve done face paint in the past, which I like. Suddenly, I had my plan.

Since one must be self-sufficient living on this island, I researched my idea online and ordered several items (well in advance) with which to complete my costume.

At several gatherings prior to Halloween, “What are you going to be?” inevitably came up. I stayed mum.

The night of the big event, Saturday, Oct. 30, the weather was mild and I joined my neighbors and others for a pre-Howard’s monster bash.

My costume? I was an “Ocracat.” Simple, easy, and topical to boot.

Ocracats, for those who aren’t in the know, is an island non-profit that traps and neuters and otherwise looks out for feral cats.

Among the other costumes in our group were: a “sinister minister,” witch, pirate wench, Tiger Woods and one of his mistresses, three women in green shirts as “gang green,” and a couple in Scottish outfits.

At 10 p.m., the events at Howard’s Pub and Raw Bar and Gaffer’s Sports Bar were in full swing.

This was the first year for a Halloween party at Gaffer’s, which opened this summer.

Manager Daniela Gilbert was pleased with the crowd.

“I’m so excited,” she said. “I can’t wait for next year.”

She was particularly pleased with the spooky decorations done by islander Jennifer Kidwell, which included mummies, a coffin, ghosts, corpses, and spiders.

Prize winners at Gaffer’s were: Reggie and Kim O’Neal, for most original, as “British Petroleum.”

Scariest was Ryan McQuade as Stephen King’s “It” clown. Best make-up went to “Little Jessie,” whose throat was slashed, and the funniest was Heather Johnson as Ursula, the sea witch from The Little Mermaid.

Gilbert also noted that bartender Jessie Morrissey was wearing a fabulous mosquito costume.

D.J. “Scorpion” played music that packed the dance floor.

At Howard’s Pub, manager Bill Cole noted that the crowd was about the same size as in previous years and that people attended from all over the state and Virginia.

“They make Howard’s Pub a destination,” he said. Many danced to live music provided by 1,100 Pounds.

Prizes of “pub bucks” were awarded in three categories, and the winners were Edward Scissorhands, as the scariest; the Platform pimp as the funniest, and “Golden Securities” was the most original.

Gaffers held a teen night, especially for kids in seventh grade on up, from 7 to 10 p.m. prior to the adult party.  About 30 kids attended, Gilbert said.

“I was happy to be able to do something for them,” she said.

(Connie Leinbach is also a reporter for The Observer on Ocracoke.)

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