BAXTER - A pirate's favorite holiday might be Arrr-bor Day, but Halloween is a close second. If you want to be a pirate on Friday, be prepared to run into a few other old buccaneers.
"The pirates, both male and female, are always the top sellers," said Kelli Mankowski, co-owner of Party World in Baxter. "It's an easy costume; you don't have to be real creative to come up with it. And you can carry a sword. People love that."
Of course, Halloween is all about being something you're not.
"That's kind of why the pirates are so big," Mankowski said. "Because pirates are known for being mean, obnoxious, horrible people, so you know, you can get by with being a snot for a day."
For those of you who don't wanna be a pirate, here's a rundown of what else is selling and renting this Halloween season, according to Mankowski.
Jaren Johnson, 9, Aitkin, tried on a scary mask Oct. 24 at Party World in Baxter. Popular Halloween masks include everything from Darth Maul to political figures. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
For gals: Flapper dresses and go-go dresses.
For guys: Hippies and gangsters.
"(A gangster) goes with the flapper theme, and they get a little machine gun," Mankowski said.
For groups: "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Flintstones."
"(For 'The Wizard of Oz') you can do either guys or girls, and it can be a big group of people," Mankowski said. "You can be all six of them. We bring in a lot of sexy costumes, so all girls can do the 'Wizard of Oz' and still get by with it.
"'The Flintstones' - it can be a bunch of couples going together."
For children: Among Party World shoppers, boys and girls fit gender stereotypes, Mankowski said.
"The little boys go for scary masks, guns, swords - anything they can go around and terrorize people with," she said. "And girls like princesses, girly crowns, that kind of thing."
And with the recent big-screen release of "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," a lot of girls are going as Gabriella or Sharpay.
For the pop-culture savvy: In addition to the franchises mentioned above, Indiana Jones is popular this year, with the recent DVD release of "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (yes, Party World even sells crystal skulls).
Kelli Mankowski, co-owner of Party World in Baxter, showed a hippie costume, which ranks among the most popular garb for Halloween. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
But George Lucas' other big franchise isn't as hot, even with "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" on Cartoon Network.
"Indiana Jones is big, and all of our sales reps tell us 'Star Wars' is big nationwide," Mankowski said. "I don't really see that here in Brainerd. We have all the 'Star Wars' rental costumes, but it's not as big of a thing in town."
Hugh Hefner, however, is doing just fine.
"This year, Hugh Hefner has been in the magazines a lot and he has that TV show ('The Girls Next Door'), so we get a lot of people who are going that way - Playboy Bunnies and Hugh Hefner. Usually for him, we recommend a velvet bed jacket."
For people with glasses: Don't despair, Mankowski said. You're not limited to being HRG from "Heroes" or Sarah Palin.
"A lot of costumes will come with sunglasses, like the 'Matrix' costumes, so you can put those glasses over the top of yours," Mankowski said. "Or we'll take a pair of (oversized sunglasses) and put them over yours and build from there, like a '70s costume.
"And you know, even with Indiana Jones, you have a hat, so when you pull it down your glasses really don't make that big of a difference."
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