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Halloween dress-ups frightfully unscary — princesses, superheroes

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We know all you zombie, ghost and ghoul fans have been dying to learn the scary scoop of what’s this year’s most popular Halloween costumes.

Well, we’ve dug up the gruesome details and, quite frankly, they spook us. We haven’t eyeballed something so frightfully UNscary since we caught the Grim Reaper in his bathrobe and slippers.

National, state and local trends are spine-chilling in their sweetness with queens, princesses, fairies, cartoon characters, mermaids, pirates and superheroes (Batman and Superman) topping most costume industry lists.

OK, sexy witch costumes have cast a spell on some adult females, and vampire costumes still take a big bite of sales. But a majority of costumes sold this year are wispy wraiths compared to the eyeball-popping, face-melting, gut-dripping getups of years past.

Locally, Nancy’s Party Rentals in Wenatchee reports that princesses, pirates and superheroes top the list. But, thankfully, the revelry-retailer also reports that TV sensation “The Walking Dead” has scared up steady sales of costumes for zombies, skeletons and other undead dudes.

Halloween City, the mega-haunt for costumes and decorations at the Wenatchee Valley Mall in East Wenatchee, reports that kids still love Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Ranger costumes. There’s encouragement, though, that sales of zombie and vampire makeup have been bloody brisk.

The Goodwill Store in Wenatchee also lists princesses, pirates and superheroes (Spider-Man in particular) as bestsellers this year. They also note strong sales of regular clothing that can double as costumes — long, dark overcoats; cowboy-western shirts, jeans and boots; wedding gowns and veils. And, pet lovers, here’s a trick that’ll treat your doggies: The nation’s top canine costume is Superman, with Darth Vader sniffing close behind. Ah-roooo!

Squash ’em if you got ’em

Quick reminder: Every Sunday afternoon in October, farmers Floyd and Betsy Stutzman shoot their surplus pumpkins from a giant air cannon. It’s a non-ghoul, un-witch, zero-zombie Halloween activity for all ages. Of course, there is some splatter — after all, the 3-to-4-pound pumpkins, aimed at targets 1,000 feet away, pretty much explode on impact. Pie filling! See the spectacle at 2 p.m. today (Oct. 27) at the Stutzman Ranch, 2226 Easy St., Wenatchee. 667-1664.

Then & Now’ in calendar for next year

Cashmere cartoonist Dan McConnell, whose art ranges from funny to phantasm, has produced a 2014 calendar featuring his “Then & Now” cartoons from The Good Life magazine. He’s begun a series of calendar signings around the Wenatchee Valley, with the next one at 5 p.m. Dec. 2 at A Book for All Seasons in Leavenworth. “Then & Now” cartoons are “about how things have changed over the course of the five decades we boomers have been bouncing around,” says McConnell. See his work at

Lose yourself in Hideaway’s tasty specialties

Follow the aroma of wood-fired lobster to find The Hideaway in downtown Cashmere. Your tastebuds will thank your nose.

The new casual-yet-chic restaurant in the former Pioneer House location opened Oct. 8 and has since been fine-tuning its lunch and dinner menus with increasingly surprising offerings.

Owner and chef Kim Barrera, who last year served up French Creole food at Leavenworth’s Big Easy, specializes at The Hideaway in steaks and fresh seafood. But Barrera also draws oohs-and-ahhs from diners with daily fresh-sheet offerings of venison stews and steaks, wild boar chops, raw and baked oysters, live crabs cooked on the spot and the aforementioned lobsters roasted in a wood-fired oven. “The flavor is incredible,” she says. “I’m certain customers will be surprised.”

Last night (Oct. 26), Barrera celebrated the opening of her new eatery with an official kick-off dinner and a ’70s-themed grand opening party (music, costumes, disco ball) in the huge space above the restaurant.

The self-taught chef, 48, said she’s been “cooking like a crazy girl” since she was in third grade and has aimed most of her life to be a successful restaurateur. Yes, she’s worked other jobs — hair dresser, real estate agent, assistant nurse — but she’s always returned to food.

Details: The Hideaway, 128 Cottage Ave., Suite B, Cashmere. Open for lunch 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; for dinner, 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 782-4433.

This weekly column is compiled from “Everyday Business,” a blog by World reporter Mike Irwin. You can reach him at 665-1179 or

Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business. follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.