June 13--William Joyce's illustrations came to life Thursday afternoon downtown at the Elks Art Center, where more than 72 people dressed up as their favorite characters from his many creative works such as the 2013 movie "Epic."
Loose feathers flew across the room and parents rushed their children to the red carpet before four judges. Jack Frost, Toothiana and Sanderson Mansnoozie all made appearances for the Children's Art & Literacy Festival costume contest.
Allison Britten, who's the assistant to Bird Thomas at The Center for Contemporary Arts' summer camps, escorted campers to the competition. She said almost all of the camp's participants used recycled materials for their masterpieces.
"Whenever we had an event that had water, we had to steal the bottles that people threw away out of the trash can," she said. "We washed them, recycled them and cut them up. It took a couple of months, to be honest."
Parents also dressed up with their children, urging their young participants down the aisle.
Competitors were split up into three age categories: 8 and younger, 9 to 12, and 13 and older. Each category had a first-, second- and third-place winner.
Sara Hopkins won first place with her Flower Girl costume from the movie "Epic" in the 8 and younger category.
Abby Thomas was first with her Queen Tara costume, also from "Epic," in the 9 to 12 category.
And Jade Klafehn took first place with her Marigold Girl costume, again from "Epic," in the 13 and older category.
Prizes included a family set of Children's Performing Arts Series season tickets, signed William Joyce books, year-long memberships to the Abilene Zoo and movie passes to the Paramount Theatre.
LuAnn Green, 42, was a member of the costume contest committee, which, she said, worked on the event a year in advance.
"It was a lot of fun. Everyone was excited to have William Joyce here," she said. "There were some Rolie Polie Olies that were really cute and took you back to your childhood."
All participants were welcome to join the author-illustrator in the William Joyce: A Guardian of Childhood parade after the competition.
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