Local Costume Swap Hopes to Help Parents Save Money

By Christy Aumer, Reporter

People look around at costumes during the Costume Swap at Westdale Mall on Saturday, October 13, 2012. About 150 costumes were donated for this years swap. (Christy Aumer/The Gazette)

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By Liz Blood

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Halloween is scary expensive. With the makeup, costumes, candy and decorations, two local organizations have come together to make Halloween easier on the pocketbook.

Sarah Wibowo brought her two children, 4-year-old Kaitlyn and 8-year-old Nathanial, to Westdale Mall to partake in the second annual Costume Swap, provided by Macaroni Kid and the Cedar Rapids Public Library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. About 150 infant to teenager sized costumes were donated for this year’s swap, and roughly 75 people picked out a new costume for this year’s festivities.

“People came to drop off costumes for a swap ticket and exchange for a ‘new to them’ costume,” Macaroni Kid Publisher and Editor Charlotte Linde said. “All the left over costumes will go to a local nonprofit, Costumes for Kids.”

“They only wear it once,” Sarah Wibowo said with a laugh. “This was our chance to come in and get a free costume.” According to www.GreenHalloween.org, swapping just half of children's costumes would reduce annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons, equivalent to the weight of 2,500 midsize cars.

Kaitlyn was thrilled, upgrading from her sailor costume to a cupcake costume, and Nathanial traded his sailor captain costume for an Iron Man costume. “We are very excited about what we picked up,” Sarah said.

First time costume swappers, April Frickson, saw the posting on her Facebook and decided to go to Westdale Mall and see what it was all about. Frickson traded her 7-year-old Jillian Jacobus' cat costume for a new pirate costume.

Tatiana Delima, 17, of Cedar Rapids volunteered at the Costume Swap and enjoyed seeing all the costumes being brought in. “I think the weirdest one I saw was a chicken costume,” Delima said with a laugh. “But I noticed everyone wanted to be dragons this year. I remember one person turned one in and people were eyeing it from across the room.”

Delima hopes to be Edna Mode from the Incredibles this Halloween.

On December 8, Macaroni Kid will be hosting a Christmas Family Fun Day at Westdale Mall that will feature breakfast with Santa, stocking-stuffer hunt and more.

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