Naruto and a Lego Nexo Knight, characters from two different anime shows, fuel up an hour before Monday’s soccer practice with egg and bacon sandwiches and by climbing trees outside Wellfleet’s Flying Fish Café.
Behind the orange hood and green mask are Felix and Alexander. “That’s what they told you?” asks café co-owner Sarah Hill, who was standing nearby, shaking her head. She corrects the record: the two are her son, Eli Hill, and his friend Xander Reynolds — fifth-graders, best friends, and jokesters.
Reynolds likes his knight costume “because it’s really, really cool.” He found the boxy gray and green shirt and pants in his grandma’s basement, he says.
“That’s just so random!” Hill interjects, laughing. His orange-and-blue Naruto costume was ordered online, carefully chosen after he watched the anime series of the same name.
“It looks epic because, to start, I get a headband,” Hill says. “Naruto is the protagonist,” he explains. “So, basically, he’s really boring and then he becomes cool by saving everyone.”
The boys plan to spend Halloween together, walking around Wellfleet’s town center, trick-or-treating until it’s late. Part of the fun is seeing what your friends show up in. “I can look at them and usually make a funny joke,” Hill says. He turns to Reynolds. “Xander, your costume is so square!”
Across Main Street and down Holbrook Avenue, fourth-grader Siena Parlante hugs the family’s new 16-week-old puppy, Kolby, amidst the small gravestones and cobwebs she set up in her front yard. Her mom, Reva Blau, suggested she go as the Viking girl from How to Train Your Dragon, with Kolby as the movie’s dragon, Toothless.
But Siena wants to be a Greek goddess. Which one doesn’t matter much to her, but her mom thinks she would be Athena. “She has a powerful personality,” says Blau. Kolby will be her Pegasus.
While she doesn’t typically like wearing dresses, Siena does like this one. It is aquamarine and cream, and long; she also likes the golden heels she gets to wear with it. Her staff adds a nice touch, especially because eager, teething Kolby follows wherever Siena points it.
With Carnival and various themed weeks, Provincetown has become known as a place for people “to escape, to transform into anything,” says Arielle Tasha. But Tasha says that’s not always the reality. She’s a Halloween enthusiast because “nobody cares what you are on that night.”
In Tasha’s hometown, the Beaux-Arts Ball, a costume party first held at town hall in 1915, launched a tradition of dressing up on Halloween. Her father, Carl Tasha, was born on Halloween, she says, and told his children all the parties were for him.
“We would go to the Flagship, the restaurant that hosted the biggest party there was, and then to Nelson Avenue,” she says, recalling the year she dressed as Tina Turner.
Tasha is committed to a Halloween celebration with elaborate decorations, including a graveyard, strobe lights, and fog machines. She plots out multiple costumes for her family. This year, a favorite set features Tasha as a lobsterman, her 15-year-old son, Dylan, as a shark, and her 15-month-old daughter as a lobster.
“It’s important to keep the tradition in town alive — for the kids,” she says.
Meanwhile, on Standish Street, the Kachtick-Anders clan of seven play a game of mix and match, sorting through buckets of costumes saved over the years, from a panda head, bat mask, long wigs, colored skirts, and kiddy heels.
“I like that you can be anything you want to be and that people don’t judge you on Halloween,” says 20-year-old Archie, who pulled out a “guy riding a bear” costume, and topped it with a blonde wig and sunglasses.
Seven-year-old Kacey and nine-year-old Alaina at first consider being a cop and Batwoman. “They help people,” would-be officer Kacey says. “Sometimes,” Batgirl-and-older-sister Alaina interjects. After a bit more sifting, the two decide to dress as bride and groom instead.
“It’s long and I like the flowers on it,” Kacey says of her white wedding dress. Alaina likes the green accents in her suit. But really, if she could be anything, she says, “I’d be a pizza.”
If Kacey could be anything, she would be a chef. “That’s what I want to be when I grow up,” she says.
“We can be a lot of things,” Alaina adds.
Careful thought has gone into all these costumes. If they’re not the best part of Halloween, what is?
“Candy!” Each face lights up.