Spooktacular – Islanders show off their costumes at Halloween celebration

Lance Shearer

The boys and girls – boos and ghouls? – of Marco Island came out to Mackle Park on Saturday afternoon for this year’s “Spooktacular,” the city’s celebration of Halloween.

Hundreds of children wandered the area under the “air-nasium” in a dizzying multitude of costumes.

Among many spooky looks, Bentley Pike, 4, was truly scary as the Free Hugz Killer Clown, and Olivier Delvat, 7, managed to be eerily creepy, historical and topical all at once as a medieval plague doctor. Lana Glutting, 9, had a great Cruella DeVille outfit (from “101 Dalmatians”) but was too smiley to be truly frightening.

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The Spooktacular, sponsored again by the City of Marco Island Parks & Recreation Dept., gave children of all ages the chance to dress up as someone else, or maybe let out a side of themselves they keep buttoned up the rest of the year. And by kids, we don’t mean just the under-two or three-year-old set, who clearly have very little input on into what they will be transformed. Many parents of young children appear to delight in playing dress up, and having the youngsters as cover is a convenient excuse to wear a matching or complementary outfit.

Derrick and Courtney Langeland, along with Tim and Madison Wylie, put together a two-family package to celebrate “The Wizard of Oz” with their children Landon, 2, and Brexlee, aged four months. They dressed as, respectively, the Scarecrow, the Tin (Wo)Man, a not-so-Wicked Witch, and the Wizard himself, with Landon as the Cowardly Lion and Brexlee seemingly as herself.

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Sofia Parsons, 5, won a “most creative” prize in her age group for her take on Jasmine from “Aladdin,” accompanied by dad Mike as the Genie. Another prizewinner, Emma Cholka, 2, was a sea turtle in a wagon fitted out as a beach nest, complete with eggs and yellow caution tape. Nathan Hamm, 13, used a full-length mirror on wheels as his costume.

“I could be anybody,” he explained, inviting people to take a look at themselves.

Dressed as a Pink Lady from “Grease,” parks and rec manager Samantha Malloy took the mic to laud fellow employee Dawn Snyder, who was celebrating a birthday the day of the Spooktacular.