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'Easy, simple and cute'

Local children take part in costume contest, downtown trick-or-treat

Sydney Safarcyk, 10, of Morris, reaches under her costume, a piece of cake, to collect second prize in the nine and ten year old group at the Morris Lions Club Costume Contest Thursday evening at the Grundy County Courthouse in Morris.
Sydney Safarcyk, 10, of Morris, reaches under her costume, a piece of cake, to collect second prize in the nine and ten year old group at the Morris Lions Club Costume Contest Thursday evening at the Grundy County Courthouse in Morris.

Morris resident Brynn Hofreiter's Halloween costume inspired compliments and some confusion as she stood on the lawn of the Grundy County Courthouse Thursday afternoon.

The eight-year-old was one of the dozens of children who took part in the Morris Lions Club's annual costume contest, which was held before downtown trick-or-treating in downtown shops.

With colorful loofahs tied to her flipflops and in her pigtails and a yellow ducky pool inflatable with white balloons around her waist, Hofreiter dressed up as 'Taking a bath.'

Brynn and her grandmother, Merry, said the costume, which put her in first place in her age group, was the source of many comments. 

"They love it," Brynn said.

"And they say, 'What are you?'" Merry said.

Merry said they got the idea for the costume from Brynn's aunt, who found it online.

"We thought this is easy, simple, and cute," she said.

Brynn was joined by a wide variety of other children dressed in costumes including butterflies, super heroes, first responders and princesses.

Eleven-year-old Danny Analytis, of Shorewood, said that the SWAT officer costume that helped him snag the grand prize for his age this year was one he had tried two years ago, but didn't place. He was dressed head-to-toe in black, with a vest equipped with ammunition, dog tags around his neck and a gas mask covering his face.

Analytis said he was excited to win.

"I felt great," he said.

It wasn't his first year to win — he actually won his category last year for his headless horseman contest, he said.

His mother, Eileen Analytis, said both the costume contest and downtown trick-or-treating are Halloween staples.

"We love it. We look forward to it," she said. "It's such a great thing Morris does for the kids. It's nice that the local businesses do this for the kids."

Lions Club member Irene H. Leopold said the threat of rain seemed to lower participation, but they were able to squeeze it in before the rain began.

She said the costumes were creative, and joked that some of the parents must have been picking up ideas on Pinterest, a website that allows users to share everything from crafts to recipes.

"Oh my gosh, the costumes were phenomenal," she said.

Fellow club members Judy Miller and Joanne Johnson agreed.

"They get better and better each year," Johnson said.

"It's always so cool because you see one and then you see an even better one," she said.

Leopold said the club was grateful for the support of the community, as well as the county for allowing them to use the courthouse lawn, as well as the volunteers who helped out. She said she hoped for sunnier skies next year.

"We hope next year we have a bigger turnout," she said.

After the contest, families headed straight for the shops, hoping to squeeze in some trick-or-treating before the rain, which started about 30 minutes into the two-hour window, but did not deter the groups from visiting downtown.

Judy Smith, assistant VP of marketing and new accounts for Grundy Bank, passed out treats to a clown, a dinosaur and a policeman from the doorway of the bank.

She said the night is always a fun one, and she enjoyed seeing the trick-or-treaters' outfits.

"They're fantastic," she said. "We always get some good costumes."

Smith said the group had been a good-natured one, too.

"They're very polite and say, 'Trick or treat,' and also say 'Thank you,'" she said. "We have some very good kids."



AGES 0-2

Grand prize — Bennet Sanders of Morris, Chicken

1st prize — Isaiah Baker of Morris, Hook

2nd prize — Owen Burla of Morris, Business Man

3rd prize — Karleigh Zink of Morris, Bumblebee

AGES 3-4

Grand prize — Xavier Gerber, Scuba Diver

1st prize — Easton Kempiak, Unicorn

2nd prize — Maxx Brown, Fireman

3rd prize — Payton Wallin, Lemon Meringue

AGES 5-6

Grand prize — Danielle Britt of Sheridan, Scarecrow in Basket

1st prize — Devin Shenberg of Morris, Bride of Frankenstein

2nd prize — Nathan Etavard of Morris, Mummy

3rd prize — Zak Kinzler of Morris, Mario

AGES 7-8

Grand prize — Lauren Mikula, Pumpkin Girl 

1st prize — Byrnn Hofreiter, Taking a Bath

2nd prize — Jesse Breen, Voodoo Doll

3rd prize — Bailey Johnson, Stick Girl

AGES 9-10

Grand prize — Dawson Britt, Corn

1st prize — Tucker Tesdal, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 'Kid'

2nd prize — Sydney Safarcyk, Piece of Cake

3rd prize — Jenna Tessone, Clown

AGES 11-12

Grand prize — Danny Analytis of Shorewood, SWAT Officer

1st prize — Tailor Vuckovich and Sophie Romak, both of Morris, Thing 1 and Thing 2

2nd prize — Claire Gurgerty of Morris, Flower Child/1970s Girl

3rd prize — Ryann Kenney of Verona, Mummy


Grand prize — Josh Mikula, Prisoner

1st prize — Austin Neill, Scarecrow

2nd prize — Eva Hill

3rd prize — No winner

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