Of all the traditions connected with Halloween, dressing up in an imaginative costume is the most exciting for many people. In fact, some stretch the pleasure over several weeks before October 31st as they brainstorm ideas for a costume and purchase or make the items needed to get it just right. To reward these people for their ingenuity and effort, it is always exciting to have a costume contest during a Halloween party.
To make the Halloween costume contest entertaining for all takes a bit of preparation before the party, but this will ensure that even the host or hostess can enjoy the fun. It is important to let the guests know before they arrive that a contest will be a big part of the evening and that prizes will be awarded for the best Halloween costumes. Depending on the age of the attendees, it might be nice to have a theme for the costumes, particularly if younger children are involved because some frighten quite easily. Some of the following themes might prevent the scare factor from getting out of control:
• Fairy Tale Characters
• Cartoon Characters
• Comic Book Characters
• A Day on the Farm
• Disney Movie Characters
Remember to inform the guests about the contest theme on the invitation and to get these out before guests begin buying, renting or making their outfits. This is particularly important at a family party where young kids will be present. In that situation, it’s usually better for the adults to wear the funny Halloween costumes rather than very scary ones that may frighten the children.
It is important to plan for the way winners will be chosen during the competition. One way to do this is to provide the guests with a voting station, which includes pens and a container such as a plastic pumpkin or spooky black caldron for holding ballots. Giving each guest a ballot as they arrive should prevent double voting. The ballots should have categories for the guests to fill in a name. While it is nice to have several categories so that more guests can win, a good host or hostess will want to ensure that there are as many losers as winners. If most people at the party win a prize, it is embarrassing for the few guests who do not win, so this is a balancing act. Having guests RSVP might be helpful in knowing how many categories are needed. The following categories work for adults or children:
• Most creative
• Most original
• Best overall
• Most unusual
Finally, some type of prize or memento should be planned for the winners of the Halloween costume contest. These do not have to be expensive and can range from a small piece of candy to a trophy. The prizes can be purchased or homemade and can be serious or funny. One idea is to match the prize to the category. For example, the winner of the prettiest costume might receive a mirror and the funniest a book of jokes.
By following these tips for a great Halloween party contest, the event should go smoothly, and guests will be begging to participate again next year.
This is a guest post contributed by Simon Phillips who runs a website all about Halloween party ideas.