Sights and sounds of Kent Halloween 2011

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The walk

With a bright outlook on his Halloween experience, a cheating husband marches toward downtown Kent, declaring that tonight he would “get another one in.”

A Batman who decided to ditch his Batmobile and walk to his next few crime-fighting destinations passes in the opposite direction, trying to keep a beer gut from spilling out of his taut Bat-armor.

Close to downtown, a yellow Teletubby evokes memories of lazy toddler days and smiling babies in the sun. The Monarch’s Henchmen from the Venture Bros. stumble through the crowd searching for their next blunder.

A couple with senior citizen costumes sat in a parking lot and waved to passers-by as a conspicuously tall leprechaun hurries into the downtown crowd.


“The Dude” makes an appearance, and two tractors full of ghouls, ghosts and ninjas head down East Main Street.

Some seafaring parent turned a stroller into SpongeBob, and a small pair of hands grabbed for the sky from somewhere inside the cavernous sponge.

A group gathered around two battling Transformers, and when one, identifying himself only as “Autobot,” got on hands and knees and became a car, the crowd cheered.

Obama walked past to shouts of “Yes we can!” from the crowd.

An alien wearing a sombrero and a convict’s orange jumpsuit walked unflinchingly past a lumbering Pyramid Head.

A Rubik’s Cube crossed the street, angering drivers and pedestrians alike with its taunting insolvability.

Justin Timberlake’s dick was still stuck in that box, and LMFAO party rocked through the street.

A giant, six-man squid chased a submarine in homage to Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

A Godzilla train marched up the street, led by a man with a “Run, Godzilla” sign, followed by an old-style airplane, being chased by Godzilla, with a vendor selling Godzilla memorabilia and souvenirs hurrying behind them.

Through all that confusion, there were 17 different Waldo sightings and only one mummy traipsing along.

The journey home

For some, the night begins and ends early.

The Halloween gods award this sleepy fate to a Jedi Knight who, despite looking shaky and nauseous while tumbling up stairs long before 10 p.m., is happily fist-bumping Steve Jobs for being bestowed such an honor.

Although most Saturday nights begin at the liquor store around this time, it’s only in preparation for this late October festival that a nun would be seen sipping a bottle of absinthe and letting the door slam on Hercules. 

Poison Ivy is dying a slow, pleasant death as she drinks her toxins out of chemistry beakers. Hugh Hefner is puffing a pipe with his sole bunny who informed everyone: “Everybody’s fucked up.” An older gentleman in full steel worker garb complains of being targeted as an undercover cop. In reality, he explains, his costume protects him against molten steel down at the factory – and “hot girls” who want to “melt him.”

As the early sleepers silently drift off to nowhere, forceful crowds begin to occupy Kent in a way no Wall Street protest can.


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By midnight, it is truly impossible to drive anywhere. Main Street sidewalks and outside lanes alike are clogged with hot dogs, bearded bananas, other condiments and snack food; a yellow crayon obsessing about Pokemon-themed dubstep; male and female Marios; bulging men in green skinsuits; the “Wizard of Oz” cast; two versions of Hunter S. Thompson — neither of which, they admitted, were entirely accurate.

A genuinely angry Gumby curses at a passing Ronald McDonald, accusing him of tricking his family into an unhealthy lifestyle. McDonald teased, “I don’t care! I’m rich, muthafucka!” A rude passerby comments that Superwoman isn’t so super with her inhaler. The smell of marijuana hits the nostrils as a group of paranoid mummies lean against a car.

Events take a hostile turn. Ambulances take a sharp left down University Street, and police are getting anxious. People, protected by strength in numbers, taunt aggravated motorists, dragging their feet across the four-lane road, screaming vulgarities at the drivers who dare to retaliate.

A minor skirmish between a pixie and the Mad Hatter erupts out of a house and spills into the street. Black Swan flips off a honking vehicle that breezed her tutu as it screeched onto Sherman Street.

Non students become apparent late in the night. A passer-by questioned the practicality of a wobbly, pinstriped man on stilts as the nervous circus freak, unfamiliar with his surroundings, asked directions to the nearest party.  High school girls mumble about Greek letters and jeer at cowboys who are frantically retracing their steps to find a lost item among broken bottles.

By early Sunday morning, the fast food joints along Main Street are fully engulfed with people. Police move to guard both entrances in Taco Bell, where vampires and zombies are among the taco-making staff trying to subdue Rafiki as she continues to harass customers. Police hunker down inside Burger King as thousands of mindlessly hungry mutants demand entry. Security escorts nonpaying customers out.

The night on Main Street calms down as the costumed drunks gain good sense and settle for the side streets. No couches burned, no riot police attacks, no hurt feelings (for the most part).

While the success of the night will ultimately be judged by the participants, once they shake off the morning’s grogginess and unexplained fatigue, the observers can agree it was one hell of a spectacle. 

Contact Daniel Moore at [email protected]. Contact Dominique Lyons at [email protected].