Capitola Children’s Halloween Parade hosts a colorful array of characters

Comic book characters, princesses and Giants jerseys reign supreme

By Jessica A. York, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Emij Schultz carries his daughter Camille, 2, through Capitola Village on Sunday afternoon alongside hundreds of other costumed children during the annual Capitola Halloween Parade. (Kevin Johnson — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

CAPITOLA >> Even among costumed characters, there are star sightings.

One such attraction at Sunday’s 24th annual Capitola Village Children’s Halloween Parade was the tiny fluffy red Elmo, with Joaquin Sands, 2, inside. As he marched with hundreds down Capitola Avenue in a whirlwind of riotous color to the sound of marching band music, several of his costume-bedecked peers looked on with appreciation.

Pumpkin dogs, shark-headed children, goggled mad scientists, roaring dinosaurs and even a bun-wearing, ketchup- and mustard-covered hotdog.

Oversized wigs, straw hats, and colorful costumes flooded the streets of Capitola Village Sunday as hundreds marched towards the Esplanade during the annual Capitola Halloween Parade. (Kevin Johnson — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

This year’s parade came with clear skies after an overcast and rainy day Saturday. The San Francisco Giants’ position in the World Series this year earned a healthy turnout of Giants jersey-wearing dads.

One such baseball fan was Jamin Claus of Soquel, who said the day worked out perfectly to fit the parade in the afternoon and the playoff game in the evening. Attending the parade with Claus were his two princesses, daughters Vivian, 3, a fairy princess, and Camille, 18 months, a pumpkin princess.

“This year’s parade was crowded. It was packed,” Claus said after making his way to the Esplanade Park. “I think it was about half as big last year. I think it’s because of the weather.”

Joaquin Sands, 2, draws the attention of other young trick-or-treaters with his Elmo costume as he participates in the annual Capitola Halloween Parade. (Kevin Johnson — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

The Capitola-Soquel Chamber of Commerce-organized event kicked off at 2 p.m. behind City Hall, led by a motorcycle police escort and rounded up with a fire truck at the back.

Almena Smith of Capitola said she had the good fortune to stumble upon the parade during a chance walk. Watching from the sidelines, she recalled her son’s enjoyment of Halloween as a child, and how he would always dress up as a vampire.

“I thought it was awesome, totally awesome,” Smith said of this year’s parade. “It’s such a good thing to do. I bet the kids get so psyched.”

Mom Ann Goodman of Aptos dressed as a “wizardy witch” with a likeness to a Harry Potter character. She said the family loves the annual parade. Goodman brought Maya, 1, dressed as bumble beer, and Rina, 6, dressed as a cross between a witch and princess.

“I liked all of it,” said Rina, adding that she ornamented her witch’s hat with a spangley crown.

After stopping at various businesses along the Esplanade to pickup some Halloween candy, families coalesced at the Esplanade Park for photos, greetings and meet ups.

Michelle Milliken grabbed a few photo snapshots of the procession as she stood by the beach. She could not recall how many of the Halloween parades she had witnessed in her 27 years in Capitola, she said.

“It’s very nice,” Milliken said of the parade. “It’s got lots of kids.”

Princesses, hotdogs and zombies made for a wide collection of costumes in Capitola on Sunday as young children marched to the Esplanade for the annual Capitola Halloween Parade. (Kevin Johnson — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Superhero brother duo Spiderman and Batman got to relax in their joint strollers after Sunday’s parade. The costume muscled Gabriel Guild, dressed as Spiderman, found himself face to face with his mirror image on the Esplanade.

Benjamin Guild, 3, dressed as Batman, showed off his costume when asked what he liked about the parade.

“I have a cape, but I can’t fly,” Benjamin said.

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