SEBASTIAN — They descended on the park – a horde of hungry scavengers eager to get their hands, claws or paws on sweet treats.
Monsters mingled with princesses while villains and superheroes sat peacefully side-by-side on bales of hay, ready to take a ride underneath the oaks of Riverview Park – all before they were to take to the stage to be deemed a winner in the annual Sebastian Costume Contest.
Among those selected was 7-year-old Drake Patty, who created his own costume – with the help of his dad – over the course of a couple weeks.
“I’m a mud monster,” he said through a thick mask of insulation foam painted in muddy hues. “I like monsters.”
His 4-year-old sister, Keira, chose to be a dainty lady bug. With a firmness in her voice, she said her brother’s costume did not scare her.
One of the youngest creatures to come out to the park Saturday was 10-month-old Layla Moy, dressed as one of the Little Piggies.
Her companions were The Big Bad Wolf – a.k.a. her dad, Jim Moy – and Little Red Riding Hood – her mom, Kali Teixeira.
“She’s doing good,” Kali said of Layla, who tolerated the thick, furry pink cap with a piggy snout.
“Halloween’s our favorite holiday,” Jim said. “It’s the one time you can live out the inner person inside.”
For 3-year-old Jeanna Antinozzi, Halloween could not come soon enough.
“She wanted to be a dog,” her grandma, Jo Beaton, said, adding that Jeanna has been practicing for the last six months – shaking her hind end to move her tail.
“She loves Halloween,” her mom, Ashley Antinozzi said, while Jeanna decorated a miniature pumpkin.
Costumes were not limited to just children and their parents, Beth Mitchell, executive director of the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce, seized on the opportunity to dress for the holiday.
“I’m just blowin’ off steam!” she said from behind the painted face of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.
Mismatched socks, clashing colors and an over-sized top hat completed the ensemble, rendering the normally mild-mannered director nearly unrecognizable.
Mitchell, Mayor Richard Gillmor and Tanya Webb, president of the Exchange Club, served as the judges for the annual costume contest.
The winners of the contest were: Tinman, Super Girl, Navi from Avatar, Nemo, the Headless Scientist, Astronaut, Little Piggy, Little Witch, Knight, and Mud Monster.