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'Frozen,' superhero, police costumes popular in Harford for Halloween

What's your favorite Halloween costume, Harford?

Porches are adorned in spooky decorations and pumpkins are everywhere in Harford County, a clear sign that trick-or-treating isn't far behind.

It's one thing to decorate a porch or a pumpkin; it's another thing to find the perfect costume to decorate your body and suit your personality.

Costume stores around Harford County have done a brisk business selling Halloween get-ups to kids ready to trick-or-treat as well as older people headed to costume parties.

Many people try to find unique or creative costumes to express their personalities, but despite the creativity, some things never change.

When it comes to dressing up for Halloween, superheroes and the heroes of popular movies remain mainstays for customers looking for new outfits, employees at Harford's costume stores said recently.

The most popular costume for 2014? Not surprisingly, it seems to be the star of one of the most successful movies in recent years: "Frozen."

"What's been really popular has been Elsa," Jason Glassman, assistant manager of Costume Cabaret, at Festival at Bel Air, said.

The character of Queen Elsa, also known as the Snow Queen, from the hit animated movie remains a highly coveted costume for both children and adults, Glassman said.

"Everyone comes in looking for Elsa," Michael Burke, assistant manager at Bel Air's Halloween City, said.

The store is owned by, and next to, Party City at Route 24 and Baltimore Pike.

Besides the icy princess, superheroes of all stripes are still a big hit with kids, employees said.

"Superheroes are always something people are looking for," Burke said.

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, two villains from the "Batman" series, have proved sought-after costumes, Glassman said.

"That one has sold well," he said of Poison Ivy. "That one has been in the movies for a while."

In 2013, one costume that was even more sinister proved popular, Glassman said: Slender Man, an Internet-based character known for kidnapping and other crimes.

"A lot of people asked for it last year," he noted.

More standard costumes like Spiderman, Superman, Batman and, with a fairly new movie out, Captain America, added one Costume Cabaret customer, Erin Smith of Edgewood.

"Seriously, every boy wanted a superhero," Smith said about a recent costume party for her young son.

"I have a 5-year-old, so he was a Ninja Turtle before the movie came out, but this year, he wants to be a wrestler," Smith explained.

Mike Wolbert, of Edgewood, was also spending time in the Disney aisle at Costume Cabaret, although he bypassed the "Frozen" costumes as he considered Ariel from "The Little Mermaid."

"My daughter is a Disney freak and loves princesses," he explained about his 5-year-old.

"This is the first year she's been a princess," he noted, adding she was going to a party.

A slightly more dated movie also remains a popular source of costume ideas.

"Everybody is looking for those little minions," Bill Lunner, assistant manager of Goodwill in Campus Hills, said.

He was referring to the yellow, denim-overalled "workers" from the animated "Despicable Me" films.

Most customers still seem to be children, Lunner said: "I haven't seen too many adults buying anything."

Others said witch and police-themed costumes have been popular for teenagers and adults.

Ashleigh Huber and Rachel Benesch, both of Bel Air, were among the young adults considering dressing up in something related to law enforcement.

Huber noted recent police roles like Melissa McCarthy's in the movie "The Heat" have influenced people.

"I think it's themes from movies," she said about the police-related revival. "That's what my friends are doing."

Costumes from the children's TV show "Adventure Time" and the video game Minecraft have also been requested, Burke said.

Halloween City, which is open from late September through Nov. 2, has stayed "pretty busy," Burke said.

Area costume stores attracted a steady flow of customers on a recent weekend, which Glassman said has been typical.

A recent Sunday "was surprisingly busy for [a day with] a Ravens game," he noted.

Costume Cabaret, which has several other stores in the region, has operated at Festival at Bel Air for three years, he said.

Meanwhile, Bill Lunner pointed out that costumes don't have to be just for people.

"We have had a lot of people asking for pet costumes," Lunner said, as a fellow employee held up a box with a shark costume for a dog.

Lunner said the store often gets pet costumes from Target, and people seem interested in dressing their pets as bumblebees, for example, or, as always, Disney movie characters.

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