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Princesses and pirates popular for Halloween

April E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Some females never give up on the fantasy of being princesses. But even if their dreams never become reality, they can always pretend at Halloween. A National Retail Federation survey for this month’s costume celebration reports that nearly 60 percent of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween in some way. Trends for children show that princess is the top choice for girls this Oct. 31. The time-honored witch – she can be good or bad – and the fairy also received high rankings as costume ideas. “Many consumers choose their costumes based on their personal style and personality, while others stick to traditional favorites like witches or ghosts,” said Phil Rist, vice president of strategy for BIGresearch, which conducted the online survey in September. “Either way, showing off their selected costume with friends and family is a tradition that will never get old.” Evidently. The NRF survey says more than one-third of adults will dress in costume this year, with 75 percent ready and waiting with costume ideas. The other 25 percent might want to keep reading. Women, like their younger counterparts, also chose princess and witch in their top five choices of what to dress as this Halloween. There’s practically a princess for every personality: Cinderella, Princess Leia, Snow White, Princess Fiona, Mulan, Princess Diana, Pocahontas, Buttercup (“The Princess Bride”), etc. Witches for boys, Spider-Man and pirates – particularly those inspired by Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” – are popular once again this year. Worldwide phenomenon Harry Potter is also as sought-after in costume form as the books and movies bearing his likeness. Men also like the idea of dressing as a swashbuckler at sea – using Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow character as inspiration. Males looking for excuses to incorporate fake blood into their costumes can go with the survey’s highly ranked old standby, the vampire. A buff Spartan or Persian from the fantasy film “300” works, too. Hollywood and pop culture’s influence often plays a role in Halloween costume decision-making. Disney’s Hannah Montana premiered on the NRF annual survey this year, ranking 23rd on the list. Star Wars characters are also timeless favorites. With the presidential race heating up, political figures garner votes in the Halloween costume popularity contest. This month, online party supplier ShindigZ.com polled its 25,000-per-day visitors to reveal which 2008 Presidential candidate would make the scariest costume. Hillary Clinton was voted the scariest. Rudi Giuliani, Barack Obama, Fred Thompson, John Edwards, John McCain and Mitt Romney, followed in her lead, respectively. ShindigZ.com also asked visitors to suggest Halloween costumes for President George Bush this year. Sharpay (from Disney’s “High School Musical”), Spider-Man, George H.W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and lawman Walker, Texas Ranger topped the poll. Although technically not a princess, Hillary Clinton was also a suggestion.


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