Malloween in Middlesboro

Published 11:48 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

What does a world famous bull rider, a 50s vampire sock-hopper and an angel statue have in common? For starters, they all made an appearance at the Middlesboro Mall’s Malloween event on Tuesday evening.

Hundreds of children and parents filled the mall, showcasing their creative costumes and filling their bags with treats at each participating store along the way. This made for a fun, yet safe, environment for kids throughout the area to indulge in Halloween fun.

While candy is, of course, the most obvious “treat” regarding the spooky holiday, some mall patrons decided to break away from the status quo by offering kids alternatives to the candy they received everywhere else. The most notable was The Children’s Reading Foundation of Appalachia (CRFA), as they offered a wide selection of books for children to pick their favorite(s) from.

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“We are always grateful for opportunities to put great books into kids’ hands at an event like this one,” said CRFA Director Debbie Knuckles. “Holidays are a great time to encourage parents to read with their children each day.”

The event was made complete with its adored annual costume contest, in which children ages three to twelve are welcome to compete to see who has the best costume of all. This friendly competition was hosted by none other than local radio host Brian O’ Brien, who subtly sported his own funky Halloween attire.

The contest was divided into three age categories (3-5, 6-8 and 9-12) and consisted of three judges: Lin Hobbs, Carolyn Widner and Regina Burchfield, all of whom scored each costume based on its content, the amount of time that seemed to have gone into it and the overall presentation.

With over two dozen contestants, three winners from each age category were chosen and awarded with gift certificates to various mall stores.

In the 3-5 age group, certificates were awarded to Preston Brookes with his creative bull rider costume, Colton Barton with his comic-esque Harley Quinn costume and Eddie Farmer with his tinman attire.

Those awarded in the 6-8 age group were Paris West with her angel statue costume (and her incredible effort to stay in character), and the due (or, perhaps, trio) Dorothy and Scarecrow costumes by Kaitlyn Farmer and Jacob Byner, featuring Kaitlyn’s dog as a real-life Toto.

Finally, the winners in the 9-12 age group were Dalton Disspani with his all-too-realistic Minecraft costume, Lily Pendleton with her recreation of the Mad Hatter, and Isaiah with his Scorpion ensemble.

The mall plans to continue this annual occasion for many years to come, providing children across the community with a safe, fun way to enjoy the holiday

“We want to thank everyone for coming out and being a part of the event. We look forward to doing it all again next year,” said Middlesboro Mall Manager Charles Burchfield.