Arts Feature

A futuristic Batman strikes a pose for the Forest City Surplus Halloween Costume Contest

Creatively costumed: Forest City Surplus Halloween Costume Contest 2014

- Chris Morgan

Lots of people are unusually attired on Halloween night, but it takes an added dose of creativity, confidence and commitment to enter a costume contest.

Last month, a few dozen individuals of various ages took part in the Forest City Surplus annual Halloween Costume Contest. The variety and intricate design of the outfits had store marketing director Tim Hodges wondering if a enterprising Hollywood director might one day tap into the city’s talent pool.   

“Seeing the entries that we did, I think London has the costume-wardrobe talent on hand if it was to land a major movie,” Hodges told SCENE during a recent exchange about the results of the 2014 contest.

“We had 56 percent more entries this year over last year - 13 adults and 26 children in all. The costumes this year were a little more mainstream, but we still had some pretty unique and niche-area costumes,” he said.

The contest awarded store gift certificates for the top three outfits in child and adult categories.

This year, the first place winner in the children’s category was a costume of film character Edward Scissorhands. Gnome on a Mushroom – quite literally, a gnome on a mushroom – and a diminutive reanimated ghoul known only as Zombie #2 took prizes for second and third place. 

For the adult category, a costume of film character Beetlejuice took the first prize, followed by a modern variant of the Caped Crusader known as Batman Beyond. An elaborate belly dancer outfit won the third place prize. 

Pictures of all the costumes can be viewed in a gallery on the Forest City Surplus website.

Hodges said he was impressed by the effort put forward by this year’s contestants, and identified a few of the other costumes that caught his attention during the event.      

“The Commando and Stewardess from the 1985 movie, Commando; Girl in a Tree, Zombie Girl, and Day of the Dead costumes stuck out for the amount of work that went into them,” Hodges said.  

“The Zombie girl had a lot of makeup that went into her costume, and the Commando and Stewardess costumes surprised me, as I can barely remember the movie,” he said.  

Second place winner in the adult category was Batman Beyond, a costume worn by Sky Westman. Westman has made a name for himself designing outfits like the one entered in the Forest City Surplus contest, and told SCENE the story behind the suit.

“The bat suit that was utilized in the Forest City costume contest is based on a cartoon series called Batman Beyond. It takes place in the future of the Batman world – Bruce Wayne gets old and he has to pass on the mantle of the Batman to his successor,” Westman explained.

“As an individual who grew up on a farm – like Clark Kent without the super powers - I always wanted to be a super hero, but I wasn’t Batman. I wasn’t orphaned, I wasn’t a billionaire. But in this particular TV series, a young boy gets to be Batman – it’s not Bruce Wayne, but a child,” he said. 

“I really felt a kinship to that concept, and that’s where my desire to build the Batman Beyond costume came from,” he added. 


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