Rossland:Costume capital of Canada - Halloween a major occasion in the Golden City

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
November 1st, 2010

There’s just something about ski towns… People who live in them love to get dressed up, put on a costume and get out and party like a… (Insert preferred party style here). Be it dressing up as your favorite trail at Red (picture southern and northern belles, beer bellies, war eagles, Dougs, Captain Jacks and marmots), taking the opportunity to show some skin in a socially acceptable scenario, or just raiding the thrift shop for some old duds, Rossland is anything but too cool for school.

Skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers, golfers, gardeners. Whatever your hobby of choice, there’s just something about small, outdoorsy towns that draws out their residents’ inner Mr. Dressup. Could it be that small town people have fewer reservations and less worry about looking good to others? Do they fret less about honoring the latest trends and living up to high haute couture standards of the moment? Could it be that the people that congregate in “lifestyle” communities are just that much more passionate about life in general and are here for a good time if not a long time?   It’s hard to say exactly, but when an occasion calls to get dressed up, and even when they don’t Rosslanders passion for costumes shine through.   This past weekend was a stellar example of that passion in action. Friday night’s Howling 55ers at the Miners’ Hall got things kicked off with a near full house partying like greasers well into the night.   Saturday night followed that up in a somewhat younger fashion with numerous parties around the Golden City. The Flying Steamshovel had a lineup out the door for much of the early evening as party goers crammed in for a combo Tuques show and Rocky Horror Picture Show screening that, by all accounts, didn’t disappoint.  If there were any ghosts about the Shovel’s premises that night, a seven person team costume consisting of every major character in the Ghostbusters film franchise would have surely vanquished them and their ectoplasmic friends.   Further down the hill, the Miners’ Hall went off until the wee hours of Sunday morning with a packed house in a non-stop-dance-athon that ran past 3:00 AM. Everyone from Mr. T to an entire gaggle of Smurfs attended and boogied to the beats.   Perhaps most impressive: there was nary a store-bought costume to be seen. At its core, Rossland is a home-made (or is that home-grown?) city with a home-made culture and that spirit shone through in the costumes of the night. Sunday night was the kids’ turn, and from several accounts the number of trick-or-treaters scouring the city in search of sugar was higher than in previous years. A report from the Upper Spokane Street neighbourhood had roughly twenty kids and kids at heart trick or treating. Over near the top of Railway Street, approximately 25 kids were counted. The candy collection capital, however, still seems to be Pinewood, where one house estimated that it received visitations from roughly 130 ghosts, Bob the Builders, princesses and—yes–even a pint sized Sarah Palin going door to door in a cleverly satirical costume complete with tea cups and party attire.   So just what is it about Rosslanders and other ski towns like it that prompts such a desire to dress up and let loose? As many of us are somewhat transient or come-from-aways, could it be an inner yearning for an identity as we live in a town we may not have grown up in? Could it be the thin high altitude air is impeding our judgment? Maybe it’s a little of all of that mixed together with the shoulder season blues.   Whatever it is, one thing is for sure: Rosslanders know how to party and they do it with style and not a self-conscious care in the world.

Categories: Arts and Culture

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