Three-year-old Anthony Nicoletti left no doubt about his costumed character identity.
“I’m Buzz Lightyear,” he proclaimed, to anyone who was listening. And, to anyone who wasn’t as well.
Anthony, his mom Emily (Mr Potato Head) and dad Michael (Woody) were among the hundreds who came downtown on Sunday afternoon for the Downtown Evanston annual Trick or Treat Stroll.
Various merchants gave out candy to those who came by, and there was no shortage of treat-seekers.
“My son wanted to be Buzz Lightyear, and he wanted us to dress up too,” explained Emily Nicoletti.
Hence, the 30-minute process to get everyone ready to resemble the characters from the movie “Toy Story.”
Besides various ghosts, ghouls, and goblins, movie characters were big inspirations.
Six-year-old Luke Brejcha was Maverick from “Top Gun.” His sister Sophie was Ariel from “The Little Mermaid.” And their cousin, eight-year-old Justin Proctor, was a ninja from a movie which was totally out of the demographic target of the reporter who interviewed him.
Justin’s mom (and the other kids’ aunt) Danika Murray was in charge, holding a map to see which stores were giving out candy.
The Downtown Evanston marketing organization also had a table, with candy and coasters … or, perhaps you could say “Snickers and stickers.”
The group’s executive director, Annie Coakley, said it’s great PR for downtown businesses to hand out candy, and while parents with costumed kids in tow might not buy a lot at this event, “we hope they’ll remember with the holidays around the corner.”
For some of the youngsters, the experience was a bit exhausting.
Mary Benjamin carried her one-year-old daughter Hannah, who was dressed up as a fox.
“She made it to two stores,” Benjamin said.
The downtown event was just one in what could turn out to be a boon for dentists.
The Main-Dempster Mile association had a similar merchant/candy giveaway on Saturday. And on Monday, from 4-7 p.m., there are trick-or-treat hours citywide.
Danielle and Drew Beeson, and their children, three-year-old Wyatt, and four-year-old Ryland, were at Main-Dempster, then Downtown, and will hit their own neighborhood on Monday.
“It’s awesome,” said Danielle.
“It’s like a whole weekend vacation.”