art mtnmommaWe’re in the Halloween homestretch, but I’d wager at least half of you are still riding the costume rollercoaster, days away from closing in on what your kid wants to be.

Back in the days before — when we actually had to make our own costumes — if you weren’t in the early throes of gathering your wardrobe supplies by this stage in the game, chances were a white sheet with two eye holes was in your forecast.


But homemade costumes are few and far between these days. Even if you do make your own, the heavy-lifting in the design department to take an idea from conception to execution is easily knocked out with a quick cruise through Pintrest.

Last year, I had the very clever and novel idea — or so I thought — to dress up as Mitt Romney’s “binder full of women.” But when I googled “binder full of women costume,” turns out a half million other women — give or take — had the same idea and were already posting their various homemade versions online for all to borrow and steal from.

My husband is adamantly against store-bought costumes. He remembers the good old days when you had to really work for it, put some blood, sweat and tears into it, and only then would you really own it come the big night.

But this year, my daughter has had her heart set on Queen Amidala (from Star Wars), almost since the close of business last Halloween. My seamstress skills aren’t quite up to the task, so alas, her costume will be arriving in a box from Fed-Ex. 

If you are industrious, well-organized and on track with a knockout costume this year, there are plenty of costume contests for your kids to strut their stuff at. Here’s a round-up of some of the contests in the area, but please, let’s keep any Miley Cyrus look-alikes confined to the campus of WCU.

• A costume contest and parade in Franklin will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, during the annual Pumpkin Festival. Meet at town hall at 1 p.m. for the parade, and walk up Main Street to the gazebo where the contest will commence at about 1:15 p.m.

• A costume contest in Sylva will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Mark Watson Park as part of the Halloween Egg Haunt event. Call the Jackson Rec department for more info at 828.293.3053.

• A costume contest in Highlands will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at Highland-Cashiers Hospital in conjunction with a fall festival, complete with hay rides, trick-or-treating and a cake walk. 828.526.1325.

• A costume contest in Whittier will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Pumpkin Patch in conjunction with a “Lighting of the Pumpkins” festival, including pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating. Located off exit 72 of the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway. $7. 800.872.4681 or

• A costume contest in Bryson City will be held on Halloween night in conjunction with downtown trick-or-treat from 4-6 p.m., where merchants give out candy. 800.867.9246.

• A costume contest will be held at Nantahala Outdoor Center at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, in conjunction with NOCtoberfest, including pumpkin carving contests and other festivities during the day.

In a completely unrelated plug, check out the Veggie Tales Live! show at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin at 6 p.m. Oct 26. Join the VeggieTales crew for a birthday bash celebrating VeggieTales’ 20 years of stories, songs and fun. 

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