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A Costume For Every Occasion And Every Month

May 1, 2008
Most people only consider visiting their local costume shop, towards the end of October, but there are many more reasons why one might want to think about a costume, during the remaining eleven months of the year.

Of course, it is true that kids most often think of Halloween as the only reason to don a costume, but as that television commercial suggests, we adults are the ones who get to have the most fun.

After Halloween, many people dress as pilgrims in November; Santa Claus in December; and Baby New Year on New Year's Eve. Adults dress as Cupid in February, a Leprechaun in March, and the Easter Bunny in April. Memorial Day is when veterans want to dress in their best military wear, even if they have outgrown their uniform from days gone by. Uncle Sam and Revolutionary War heroes grace parties on the 4th of July. There are more parties than the typical Halloween party that will welcome costumes of many flavors.

Believe it or not, according to the http://CivilWarNews.com website, there are civil war reenactments in every single month of the year and in 35 states, plus the District of Columbia.

In episode six of season one of the comedy television series "Psyche", starring James Roday (Shawn) and Dule Hill (Gus), the boys investigated a murder that took place at a Civil War reenactment near their home in Santa Barbara, California.

On the surface, the premise of that episode might seem silly since the setting of the story is in California and no Civil War battles were fought there. But history tells that California sent troops and financial resources to help the northern states during the Civil War. As a result of California's contributions to the North during the Civil War, there are at least four Civil War reenactments that occur in California each year.

Civil War reenactments are a perfect occasion to head to the costume shop to pick up a Union or Confederate military uniform, so that one can participate in the fun. But, reenactments encompass far more activities than the Civil War.

There are historical reenactments for the Revolutionary War and nearly every war in history. Rodeos typically feature old west cowboy reenactment performers. The Mountain Man rendezvous are also very popular throughout the country.

There are historical reenactment events and activities around the world representing European history as well, including the Dark Ages, Early, Middle and High Medieval Ages, the Napoleonic Age, up to and including Renaissance Fairs. Renaissance Fairs frequently venture into the remaking of King Arthur's Camelot, from England's Middle Ages. Hollywood exemplified this age in the movie, "A Knight's Tale", starring the late-Heath Ledger.

With the recent popularity of role-playing games, more people have ventured into a lifestyle that includes weekend gatherings of costumed participants, representing a vast range of eras. It is a fact that most groups, who gather, segment their gatherings to a specific time frame that usually covers only a century or so.

One such organization that can be tied to the dress-up, role-playing, is the 30,000 member strong Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). According to their website at http://SCA.org, members dress in costumes and clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and its members attend events, which may feature tournaments, arts exhibits, classes, workshops, dancing, feasts, and more. Major SCA events are held around the United States and the world, with dates scheduled all year long.

When reenactment and role-playing activities happen, many of the participating members lack the appropriate garb for the age they are playing, so a trip to the costume store is a typical occurrence.

Of course, Hollywood has warehouses full of costumes for their various television and movie productions. But, local playhouses simply do not have Hollywood's huge budgets and financing. On occasion, local producers will make the trip to their local costume shop to rent the costumes they need to properly outfit their actors and stage performers.

Speaking of actors, many out-of-work actors step into a clown suit from time-to-time to perform at kid's parties. Others take their tricks to birthday parties wearing their magician outfit. Even starving artists have bills to pay.

Football and baseball teams hire team mascots to dance around as birds and animals and perform on the sidelines at the games. Commercial enterprises occasionally hire high school kids to stand on the side of the road in various costumes to hawk the companies' products. In fact, Wonder Bread is fond of putting people in Twinkie costumes to remind people of their yellow cakes with cream filling.

As the political cycle gears up, many people like to dress up as their favorite candidates in the race. Couples who attend election parties in 2008 can attend as the Hill and Bill show, with Hillary and Bill masks. Nixon remains a popular mask even after three decades.

For those who love movies, the thought of Presidential masks will likely take one back to "Point Break", starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey. For those who have not seen the movie, Reeves and Busey were FBI agents charged with busting the "ex-President bank robbers", who wore masks of Reagan, Carter, Nixon and Johnson while they robbed banks. The classic line in the movie was when the Nixon bank robber, while robbing a bank, threw up the trademark Nixon peace signs and declared, "I am not a crook."

Point Break actually led to many copycat movie bank robbers, including Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni in the 2005 film, "Fun with Dick and Jane", where Dick and Jane actually wore Bill and Hillary Clinton masks when they robbed banks.

Holiday parties, reenactments, rendezvous, SCA events, birthday parties, mascots, and politics are only a few of the reasons why an adult would want to dress in a costume. Dressing in costumes is fun, for adults and children alike, even more so for adults who get to leave their children with the babysitter while they go to their costume parties. It sure is great being an adult.
About the Author
Erik Aronesty is a professional perl-programmer and the owner of Moon Costumes, which carries a huge selection of costumes for adults and costumes for children. Visit Erik's website at http://www.mooncostumes.com to shop his extraordinary selection of costumes, outfits and accessories.
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