trick or treat

Trick or treating Wednesday night was scarier at some houses more than others. A brave young trick or treater makes her exit past the “Circus of the Dead” actors at the Max’s house on Oak Street. The terrifying house was created by Greg and Eli Simpson, and friends. (Photo by Melissa Plantz/Telluride Daily Planet)

Thank the Druids that Halloween always falls on Oct. 31 instead of Oct. 30. Had the annual Telluride Halloween Parade taken place Tuesday (when it rained and snowed), instead of Wednesday (when it was clear), hundreds of goblins, ghouls and miniature Donald Trumps would have been wet and cold.

Fortunately, that was not the case and so Telluride’s annual Halloween parade went off under spectacular conditions: blue sky, autumnal temperatures in the 40s and bright sunshine washing over not just the adorable parade but also a fresh coat of white snow on the San Juan Mountains.

Though Halloween in Telluride is occasionally dreary and depressing, it often looks like it did Wednesday — and that combination of cute kids and natural beauty this year landed Telluride on Country Living magazine’s list of “The 11 Best Small Towns to Visit for Halloween.”

Wednesday’s festivities began at 1:30 p.m., when Telluride Elementary School and Intermediate School students from preschool to 6th grade lined up with teachers and parents — and in some cases, their pets—outside of the school on Columbia Avenue.

From there, costume-clad students ranging from witches and half-dead brides to superheroes and nerds made their way toward Colorado Avenue. Per tradition, a fire truck from the Telluride Volunteer Fire Department led participants slowly past sidewalks packed with cheering parents and shopkeepers.

This reporter was embedded with a 6-year-old French maid and a 47-year-old Miner Bee. FYI, a Miner Bee is the mascot of the elementary school and not the same as the high school’s Miner mascot. (This one, see, is a bee.)

Most teachers at the elementary dressed as Miner Bees for Halloween after getting together earlier to fashion buzzworthy costumes out of bright yellow duct tape and comfortable black clothing.

“I love this costume,” gleamed reading specialist Kelli Coppage. “How cool is it to walk the parade in yoga pants?” Her comfort helped Coppage do her Halloween parade duty, which she described as “holding hands with kindergarteners.”  

Parade viewers spotted old school cartoon characters like Fred Flintstone and new school ones like SpongeBob SquarePants. There were queens and jesters, reptiles and insects, cowboys and indians, cookies and milk, and little dolls and overinflated sumo wrestlers.

By far the most popular costume for schoolchildren this season was the inflatable Tyrannosaurus Rex. At least 20 of them thundered through the parade. Why? For one, T-Rex was a bipedal beast, and thus much easier for a human to emulate than a Brontosaurus. For two, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” packed theaters this summer, and many of the dinosaurs Wednesday sported officially licensed product. The costume requires four AA batteries for its fan so wearers don’t melt inside their stretchy plastic prisons.

As with most years, 2018’s Halloween began moving eastbound along the south side of Main Street, curled around a fire truck, then trod west on the sunny side of the street on the way back to school. Along the way, participants and spectators listened to a rousing brass band of older students conducted by Tuck Gillett.

Telluride sure loves its parades. In addition to the Halloween event, town also throws processions for Fourth of July, Mushroom Festival and even Colorado Bike Week. The Fourth of July parade is easily the largest. It draws visitors from all over the world and begins with a military jet flyover.

That parade, which is also family friendly and hints at a mythical Rockwellian existence, was actually suspended in the 1970s due to worries of motorcycle gang violence. It was not reinstituted till 1989.