Sep 07 2011
Dressed as zombies, the Abby Todd Dancers dance to Michael Jackson’s Thiller during Hannaford’s Halloween in August Wednesday at Saratoga race course. Ed Burke 8/31/11
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Action heroes, ninjas, ghosts and goblins invaded Saratoga race course on Wednesday for the track’s second annual "Halloween in August" festivities.It was a hauntingly fun time as kids of all ages took part in costume contests in three different categories.the celebration took place with exactly 60 days to go before the real Halloween."I like seeing all the people dressed up," said Kalyn McGuire of Lake George.her younger brother and sister, James and Mattison, were among the dozens of children who went trick-or-treating at different sites around the track.A huge Frankenstein, Wicked Witch and Devil Dog, the Albany Devils’ hockey team mascot, served as costume judges.Eight-year-old triplets Grant, Sophia and Ava Sperling of Saratoga Springs came dressed up in homemade jockey outfits, complete with goggles and shiny black boots. just like jockey Javier Castellano, who won Saturday’s Travers Stakes, they raised their arms in triumph after capturing first place in the "Ghastly Groups" category for two or more children."They picked what they wanted to be on their own," said their mother, Sheila Sperling.the activity was the latest in a long list of special-themed celebrations at the track this year. the day also included trackside "Thriller" dance performances, psychic readings, face painting and arts and crafts.Ava Peruffo, 4, of Malta, won first prize for her hippie costume in the "Creative Creatures" category, for most creative costume. She missed Woodstock by 41 years, but still impressed judges with beads, sandals and peace-sign eyeglasses.Greg Wyman, 10, of Niskayuna took top honors in the "Spooky Spirits" contest for scariest outfit — a man with no head."the last thing I remembered was my head hitting the floor," he joked.He’s already made a ghoulish video of the costume for Youtube."It’s a great," said Wyman’s grandfather. "he did a good job with it."Prizes were given to first-, second- and third-place finishers in each category. the champions got several different gift certificates including one to the Costumer, a business that specializes in Halloween outfits, in Albany and Schenectady.Wyman said he can’t wait to pick out a new costume for this Halloween, maybe one that’s a little cooler, because he worked up quite a sweat inside his big, black body suit.Dee Mezera, general manager of the Costumer’s Schenectady store, said some people have already started picking out costumes for Halloween. Pirates of the Caribbean and Captain America will be popular among kids this year, she said."the hard-core people really start early," she said.
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