BURLEY — On Halloween night, those taps at the door will likely emanate from myriad creatures and characters begging for goodies in lieu of tricks.
Children dressed as superheroes, dogs dressed as food and adults dressed as – well, more adult – are some of the characters that will prowl the streets and stand at the front stoop.
The top-ranked children’s costume nationwide this year, according to the National Retail Federation, will be action figures or superheroes.
Americans will drop a record $9.1 billion on candy, costumes and pumpkins this year, up 8.3 percent from $8.4 billion last year, NRF said, based on a survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics.
“A lot of the popular-selling costumes this year are Marvel characters like Spiderman and Ironman,” Allison Cox, assistant manager at Walmart in Burley said.
Costumes featuring Disney’s Descendants sisters, Disney princesses, Power Rangers, Batman and Minions are also popular, she said.
Adults are going for more, “adult looks,” Cox said.
“We see it all, and every year it’s different things,” Marilyn Felt, owner of Mill End Fabrics, in Burley, said.
Felt’s clientele tends to lean to the creative side—like covering themselves with newspaper and wearing a trench coat to represent a newsflash or sewing random items like socks and panties on their clothing and attending a party as static cling.
On average, consumers are expected to spend $86.13, up from $82.93 last year, NRF said.
The number of people who say they their spending will be impacted by the economy shrunk to 12.9 percent, compared to 14.1 percent last year and 32.1 percent in 2011.
Costumes will be purchased by 69 percent of Halloween shoppers, who will spend $3.4 billion on them. Ninety-five percent of people surveyed said they will buy candy, spending a total of $2.7 billion. Seventy-two percent will buy decorations, for another $2.7 billion, and 37 percent will buy greeting cards costing $410 million.
Two-year-old Corbin Erickson, of Albion, settled on traditional costume after waffling between choices for days.
“For the last few weeks he kept saying he wanted to be firefighter, so we bought that one,” Corbin’s mother, Jessica Erickson, said.
Among people celebrating Halloween, 49 percent will decorate their home or yard, 48 percent will wear costumes, and 23 percent will visit a haunted house.
Sixteen percent of people surveyed will put costumes on their pets.
“She doesn’t seem to mind the costumes,” Sydney Taylor, of Burley, said of her 11-year-old Dachshund, Daisy, as she fastened a Velcro closure around the patient pup. “But she doesn’t like the hood on her Minions costume.”
Taylor and Daisy’s costumes usually match. This year, Daisy’s accessories include a hot dog box that she sits in and Taylor dressed as a vendor. Four Paws Bed and Bath in Rupert, where Taylor works, sells K-9 costumes.
Smaller dogs often leave dressed as little panda bears and the owners of bigger dogs opt for animal costumes like bears, she said.
Like dogs and their owners, Felt said she often sees families dress as a theme.
Brianna Bennett, of Heyburn, said she tries to guide her children, Tayli, 9, Dre, 6 and Case, 3 toward a theme each year.
This year Tayli will be a princess, and Case will be a knight. She is still trying to coax Dre into a dragon costume, but he hasn’t made a commitment yet.
Their dog, Bella, a Yorkshire terrier, poodle and Maltese cross, will wear a unicorn costume, Bennett said.
One year, her children dressed up as a farmer, tractor and a cow.
Bennett said the real challenge this year may be getting Case to actually wear his costume.
“He likes it, but the first time he put it on the tag scratched him. Now he just likes to carry it around,” Bennett said.
Brenda Walton, of Paul, who works at the Burley Public Library, wears a version of the same costume each year to a church Harvest party and to work.
“I dress up as a queen or a Goddess. Obviously, what else would I be,” she joked.
She made a queen costume in high school for a Shakespeare play, and now rotates that with another costume each Halloween.
Rachel Hale, of Burley, said she got her 3-year-old son Calvin a Tyrannosaurus costume that looks like he is riding the dinosaur. Her five-year-old daughter, Ruby, will be Elsa.
Hale said she doesn’t dress up; instead, she’ll leave the costumes to the kids.
“I don’t like Halloween, she said, “but they do.”