Halloween 2010: costumes, decorations, pictures and more

Check out how some Washingtonians dressed for the holiday festivities.

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Washington Post Staff
Friday, October 22, 2010; 4:31 PM

As Halloween approaches everyone will be looking for the costume to define them for a night of revelry and treats.

As Fritz Hahn and Lavanya Ramanathan reported:

Next Saturday night, local bars and lounges will be overrun with people in costumes. Some get-ups will be funny and topical. Some will be creepy and bloody. Some will be . . . well, let's just say if you're out of college, please reconsider the "Sexy Disney Princess" outfit.

But while showing off your carefully planned or hastily thrown together outfit can be fun, it can also be rewarding. Three-thousand-big-ones rewarding. That's the top prize at DC101's annual costume contest, where in recent years winners have included a perfectly coiffed McLovin look-alike and an elaborate (and homemade) Optimus Prime outfit with glowing headlights and taillights.

For children, maybe this is the year to forgo the expensive constume store and settle for a homegrown creation. The going out guide has several tips:

For children's costumes, be sure to get your kids involved in the brainstorming and creation of their own look. "The first thing you have to do is ask your child, 'Who do you want to be today?' " says Katie Touart of Adventure Theatre. "Then go through what you have in your toy box or your kitchen, even your bathroom."

That's right -- think close to home for materials to make your little firefighter or zombie come to life. The bicycle helmets you already own can be the bones of a great headpiece (whether you're creating a Storm Trooper mask or teddy bear head), says Touart. Make horns from duct tape.

Event pets get the costume treatment. Here are several suggestions from the going out guide:

If you see dogs dressed as Sarah Palin or wearing three-piece suits in Alexandria after work, you'll know they're on their way to the Hotel Monaco's long-running Doggie Happy Hour, which is hosting its annual Howl-oween Costume Contest.

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