Reprinted from yesterday's late edition

Halloween isn't just for kiddies any more.

Hundreds of grown-ups, more or less, roamed the main drags of Georgetown Wednesday night, wearing a glittering variety of Halloween garb. Costumes dotted the landscape around 19th and M streets, too and at a number of bars and private parties around town.

San Francisco may not have been impressed; Halloween is a longstanding tradition for adults there. But even there changes are taking place, says an observer of the Bay Area social scene. Its Halloween scene used to be dominated by gays: now straights are dressing up and indulging themselves, too.

The Washington Halloween scene Wednesday night was an event for people of many ages and rates and sexual orientations.

Though many of the revelers were young adults, some were not so young. As a carload of older folks wearing masks inched through the traffic they were asked if they were going to a party. An old woman lifted her mask and shouted out that no, she was going to the Miss America pageam.

It was that kind of night.

A trio of George Washington University students - dressed rather conservatively as a Roman, a witch and a pirate - confessed that they had actually been trick-or-treating among the posh homes of Georgetown. At thetreating too," replied the pirate.

A group assembled for dinner at the Foundry included a duck, a "priest," a Great White Hunter, a bat and an assortment of other creatures. In real life they were workers on the Hill, at the Brookings Institution, the Pan American Union and at other formidably starchy institutions, but tonight they were expressing their "real inner selves," they said.

Except for one woman: "I didn't have the breasts for Dolly Parton so I decided to come as a little old man instead," she explained.

At the corner of Wisconsin and P streets, the windows of Avant-Garde, a new boutique, seemed to be shaking. A closer look through the fog on the windowpane revealed the wiggling bodies inside, dancing the night away. Owner Alain Chetrit had moved out all the clothes and installed a disco for Halloween, open without charge to anyone who was strolling by, and the place was packed with gyrating dancers wearing elegant and exotic costumes.

Outside the store was a campaign worker for Republican mayoral candidate Arthur Fletcher, passing out brochures to the disco crowd. She applauded Chetrit's opening of his doors to the public and said Fletcher would do the same thing if elected.

Down the street, at La Serre, was a group that might have disagreed. "Trick or treat with Marion Barry," said the invitations, and inside, the Democratic mayoral candidate was dispensing conversation and handshakes while surrounded by pumpkins and orange and black crepe paper. Discreet little masks were available at the door, but not many people were wearing them.

On the sidewalk outside La Serre practically everyone was wearing a mask of some sort, and few of them were discreet.

The Potatoheads were holding court at the corner of Wisconsin and M. These were little figures with enormous heads who liked to silently surround individual strollers. Rugged interrogation by the press finally exposed them as normal-sized pals from Cheverly who occasionally had to dart behind buildings to take off their heavy heads and give their bodies a break. Such are the burdens of Halloween.

The Potatoheads said they had been called everything from homosexuals "to Devos to cute little honeys."

Two young bottles of Tanqueray and Michelob, walking down Wisconsin en route to Sarsfield's, were asked why so many people were doing this sort of thing this year. One of them ventured the opinion that a whole new school of whacko comedy has become popular lately - what with the Comeheads, Steve Martin, "Animal House" - and everyone wants to join the fun.