Privy wins Halloween garb parade

November 01, 1992|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,Staff Writer

Mike Kowalewski came to the Halloween parade determined to win.

"My costumes never get any prizes," he lamented, trudging through the cold drizzle yesterday morning.

He carefully navigated his life-size outhouse costume, his vision restricted to a half moon cut into the cardboard door, and moved to the front of the crowd of costumed kids, awaiting his chance to wow the judge.

The folks at the Festival Shopping Center in Bel Air certainly were impressed.

Almost no one could resist opening the cardboard door and peering inside where Mike, 12, stood with a pair of boxer shorts around his ankles.

Actually, they weren't his ankles, though they were his boxer shorts. From the top edge of the box dangled two "legs" -- a pair of his mom's pantyhose stuffed with padding. A pair of sneakers and the boxer shorts completed the ensemble.

"It took about six hours to make this," the Bel Air youth said proudly.

Inside the refrigerator box, decorated to look like a wooden outhouse, Mike stood waist high inside a another cardboard box.

In his costume, Mike's movement was restricted so much the judge let him stay put while about 200 children, divided into three categories by age, marched around the outhouse.

Mike's hard work paid off -- with first prize for the best costume among the 8-and-over group.

"This is so exciting, I just can't believe it," he said, undaunted at being temporarily trapped inside his costume.

He finally got out when his mother, dressed as a troll, managed to lift the box high enough for him to crawl underneath.

"It's the first time Mike has won a Halloween contest since he won first prize as a carrot when he was 6 months old," said his proud mother, Michele Castellano.

"The three cutest costumes in each category won," explained Michael Blum, of Michael Blum Associates Inc. Mr. Blum, in addition to judging Halloween costumes, handles public relations and advertising for the shopping center.

"Last year we tried to award prizes for the scariest and the prettiest and the most original, but that just got too complicated, so this year we stuck with the cutest," he said.

R. J. Lambie, 7, of Joppatowne won first prize among children ages 4 to 7.

Only his head peeked out from his costume -- a thin wooden board decorated to look like a dinner table complete with a blue-and-white table cloth and several food cartons.

"We've been collecting food containers and cans all week," his mother, Sandra, explained. "Some of the stuff we had to screw down, but other stuff, like the fork and spoon, we just glued."

Mrs. Lambie said her husband, Roger, actually made the costume.

Michael Carlino, 3, of Edgewood won first prize in the category for newborns to 3-year-olds. The winning entry: a train costume made of cardboard boxes.

After the costume judging, the children and parents went trick or treating at stores at the shopping center.

Prizes were $25, $15 and $10 Festival Shopping Center gift certificates, said Sue Green, property manager for MRP Management. MRP is the management arm of Bel Air South Partnership, which owns the shopping center.

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