This October is the 10th anniversary of the annual Boo Celebrity Jury of the Brookfield Zoo! In the zoo costume competition.
During the three consecutive weekends of Saturday and Sunday Halloween celebrations, I judged more than 1,225 costumes marching on the outdoor stage. Clothing categories include “Best Animals”, “Best Combinations”, “Most Originality” and “Weird Awesome”. This year’s winners, as seen in my photos, include winners from Northwestern Indiana and the entire Chicago area.
This year’s top prize is Starbucks, a nod to the costumes, the 2018 Disney-Pixar animated film “Cocoa”, the actor of Lego (reproducibly remade with cardboard boxes, vinyl tablecloths and colored plastic Solo cups), paying tribute to the actors 2009 The Disney-Pixar animated film “Up” and the modified stroller were adapted into the Tom Cruise jet (with garden lawn ornament “Goose” as a co-pilot) in the 1986 film “Top Gun”.
For the best animal costumes of 2018, Merrillville’s Ray and Samantha Brazeau were amazed when their 5-year-old son, Elijah, won, and despite his tail in a trap, he held his wedge-shaped cheese like a mouse. Last year, the Brazeau family played the role in Disney’s “Pinocchio” and won this category. This year, a large number of skunks, jellyfish, inflatable dinosaurs, flamingos and flocks are packed with “best animals.”
Some of the vintage costumes this year include Pac-Man, Mario Bros., Where’s Waldo, Rubik’s Cubes, disco, the role of the 1980 film “The Shining”, and the group that pays tribute to the excitement of Ringling Bros., Barnum and Bailey Circus. The stroller was converted into an old-fashioned propeller plane. From the retro “We Can Do It” wartime poster, there are many little girls wearing the iconic Rosie the Riveter costume.
Other films, such as “The Lord of the Rings”, Disney’s “Superman Agents”, and families dressed as beekeepers and hives, the famous president and s’mores bonfire, are winners of the category like the Alekna family. The favorite dad dressed in the latter is a vague black sheep, and the mother and the children rhyme for the story book with woolen plaits in linen bags.
For the weird but interesting category “Weird”, (rolling the ball of excrement), a “pig farmer” (the head of a sports pig’s head, wearing a bloody overalls while holding a pitchfork) and ” The wind socks seen on the parking lot of the second-hand car sales are the big winners in 2018.
I was told that more than 72,000 visitors participated in this year’s buzz! The zoo is sponsored by Ferrara Candy, and more than 16,000 guests of all ages came to the zoo gate last Saturday alone.
Philip Potempa is a journalist, publishing writer and marketing director of the Center Theatre.