Stroll brings costumes, candy, campaigns |

Stroll brings costumes, candy, campaigns

Mike Lawrence

A young Mr. Potato Head — also known as Rieley Wilkinson, 8 — strolled through the crowd, clutching a bag of treats and narrowly avoiding two Darth Vaders, a walking Federal Express box, a pirate brandishing a long cutlass and a baker who led a chocolate chip cookie by the hand. Nearby, two interlocking red Legos laughed while eating chocolate, and a ghoulish demon brushed shoulders with a fairy princess.

Steamboat’s annual tradition drew hundreds to downtown Steamboat Springs on Monday night, as business owners handed out candy, French fries and even gourmet dog biscuits. Unlike last year’s rainy slush, this year’s Downtown Halloween Stroll featured clear skies and not-too-chilly weather, drawing crowds that overflowed the sidewalks.

Although the prevailing mood was festive, Jace Worden was all business.

“OK, we’ll go down this street, cross, then go up that street,” Worden, 11, said to a group of costumed friends. Dressed as a leprechaun, the Steamboat Springs Middle School student waved his hands in the air to illustrate the candy-getting plan, before ducking into the Steamboat Shoe Market for a quick Baby Ruth bar.

Fellow middle-schoolers Laura Bradfield and Meghan Lukens, both 12, made the rounds dressed as a washer and dryer.

When asked what gave them the idea, the girls’ conversation was as synchronized as their costumes.

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“She saw it in a magazine,” said Lukens, the Kenmore dryer.

“And it looked easy to make,” Bradfield, the washer, continued.

“But it really wasn’t,” Lukens finished.

The event was busy for adults, as well. On the eve of today’s elections, several volunteers took the opportunity for some eleventh-hour campaigning.

“This is the last hurrah — you see bazillions of people,” Roxane Miller-Freutel said as she handed out stickers in support of Referendum 1B, which would raise property taxes to support those with developmental disabilities. Miller-Freutel is the adult services director at Horizons Specialized Services, which will benefit if the referendum passes.

City Council and School Board candidates also vied for the candy vote.

“Happy Halloween!” Steam–boat School Board candidate John DeVincentis, dressed in a full-body Bob the Builder costume, called to passers-by.

District 2 City Council candidate Warren Harner handed out candy, as well, but downplayed the political implications.

“This is a family town, and this is a family event,” Harner said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

It certainly was a family event for Kevin Taulman, who could be heard for blocks up and down noisy Lincoln Avenue.

His 3-year-old son, Kyle, had control of the siren on top of his homemade fire truck.

“Last year, he was Thomas the Train. This year, he wanted to be a fireman,” Kevin Taulman said, as his other son grew antsy.

“We’re missing all the good stuff!” yelled Jacob Taulman, 6, jumping up and down in his Batman costume. “Let’s go get some good stuff!”

Quint Friesell, a community services officer helping guide traffic on 11th Street, said the evening went smoothly and no injuries were reported.

“Not unless the kids eat too much candy,” Friesell said.