by Kathy Eide Casas
Ghosts and goblins, witches and warlocks, smiley jack-o-lanterns or scary zombies—no matter what your Halloween penchant, this is one holiday where adults and kids alike can be spooky or sweet, frightful and fun.
For those Halloween aficionados like Catherine “Cat” Kuchar, Halloween is an extra-special time of year. Cat’s mom, Jeanette, an accomplished costume designer and self-taught seamstress, although a nurse by trade, relishes Halloween as the time to create and produce intricate costumes for the entire family. All handmade by Jeanette, each costume is custom-designed and fitted for each family member, including the now-growing second generation.
Every year, at this hallowed time, the family selects their theme, which is followed to the tiniest detail. Their Halloween tradition has grown with the children, who are now all adults. Every Halloween, Cat and her siblings showcase their mom’s designs, some of which have included Maleficent, complete with the horns and other accessories, a circus theme with lion tamers, and recently they rocked the Addams family. As Cat explained, “My mom has been sewing since she was a teenager and she has always loved costumes, a tradition she has passed on to all of us kids.
Every year, she always tries something different. Over the years, they’ve gotten more and more elaborate, and they are always fun!”
When asked if Cat and her family have ever competed in a Halloween costume contest she explained the reason they haven’t, “People have always said it just wouldn’t be fair.” That truly sums it up; these costumes are red carpet design worthy!
This year is a special challenge for Jeanette as Cat will be attending the formal masquerade, Endless Night Vampire’s Ball, in colorful and historic New Orleans. She will be wearing a full renaissance gown, and of course, a Venetian mask to complete her alluring Vampiress ensemble.
On the other end of the Halloween spectrum, for those who are looking for their little ones to be the perfect princess or super hero, costumes can easily be found at neighborhood and seasonal stores everywhere during this time of year. Thrift and second hand stores offer a fresh and fun alternative to the pre-packaged costumes, allowing a more personal look.
Listed below are some easy-to-find stores offering ideas, costumes, and accessories for that perfect Halloween look, no matter what the age.
1355 E. Noble Avenue-Visalia
Spirit Halloween Stores
*780 West Shaw (Shaw and Willow) Clovis
*1029 E. Shaw – Fresno (across from Fashion Fair mall)
*Shaw and West Avenues -Fresno
*1205 Shaw Avenue – Clovis
*3623 West Shaw – Fresno
*7374 N. Blackstone- Fresno
1917 W. Caldwell-Visalia
Discovery Shop Visalia
110 W. Main St. – Visalia
3930 S. Mooney Blvd.-Visalia
Vintage Square Thrift Shops-Vintage Voola
755 Van Ness
Fresno (Downtown Fresno)
Team Amvets Thrift Store
4125 East Shields
Fresno (Central Fresno)
The Costume Land
5627 N. Fig Garden Drive
Fresno (Northwest Fresno)
2902 Ventura Street
Fresno (Downtown Fresno)
587 E. Shaw
Fresno (Fashion Fair)
Salvation Army Thrift Store
339 NW 3rd Avenue – Visalia
Additionally, Kohl’s, Target, KMart, WalMart and Michaels offer a full selection of Halloween costumes.
Of course, the most important aspect of Halloween is safety. Always make sure that the little ones can see and walk and are accompanied while trick-or-treating.
Check out other Halloween articles in our Arts & Entertainment section along with one sharing a bunch of great Halloween events coming up this month!