OFFBEAT: Cartoon creativity at 2013 Brookfield Zoo costume contest

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-10-29T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Cartoon creativity at 2013 Brookfield Zoo costume contestBy Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

I felt like I was having a Saturday morning cartoon flashback to childhood with all of the fun winning Halloween costumes on Saturday and Sunday for the second weekend of Brookfield Zoo's annual Halloween costume parade and contest. Just last weekend, I served as one of the judges both days.

Brookfield Zoo calls this Boo! at the Zoo and it offers an array of "spook-tacular activities for the whole family."

Prizes this year are courtesy of Radio Flyer and Jamaica Tourist Board, who are among the corporate sponsors for this year's fun.

Everyone received a prize for participating and there are also first- and second-place "big prize" winners in four categories: scariest, best animal theme, most original and best group theme. For judging duties, I was joined by physicians Dr. John Santaniello and Dr. Trent Reed, both of emergency medicine for Loyola University Health System, as well as Jackie McGoey, digital content manager for Chicago Parent Magazine and Elizabeth Diffin, associate editor for Chicago Parent Magazine and Jennifer Thomas, features managing editor for Sun-Times Media.

As for the most popular costumes, there were 244 contestants Saturday and 278 on Sunday, along with 13,387 visitors to the zoo Saturday and more than 23,591 on Sunday.

What I saw the most of during the weekend were zombies, Disney princesses, characters from Monster High, Disney Jr.'s "Doc McStuffins," fairytale characters, vampires and characters from "Monsters Inc." and plenty of superheroes of all sorts, while butterflies, peacocks and sheep ruled the animal kingdom of favorites. There were also some more retro costumed characters, like Cleopatra, Donald Duck, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Strawberry Shortcake and lots of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Here are the winning photos from Saturday and Sunday's competitions. As for who's who, in Saturday's photo, you'll see a family dressed as The Flinstones, a tiny crocodile, a chicken holding a sign promoting beef consumption, the Grim Reaper, a swamp zombie, the "Scooby-Doo" Gang and a decapitated scientist holding his head in a lab beaker. In Sunday's photo, there's the scary clown from Stephen King's "It," a frog prince in a kissing booth, a Cook County Corrections Family, a mom holding a Willy Wonka Oompa Loompa with gum-chewing Violet Beauregard puffed up into a giant blueberry, a mom with a mouse in a mousetrap, a peacock and a "mint condition" GI Joe still boxed. FYI: or (708) 688-8000.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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