Not often does the public get to see the first lady of Wichita State basketball drip, drip, dripping blood from her rotted out teeth.
It’s also rare to catch Admiral Windwagon Smith looking like an undead SpongeBob SquarePants – or the dignified publisher of The Wichita Eagle tangled up in a funnel of tulle and dismembered shark bits – the star of her very own “Sharknado.”
This year – just for fun – the Wichita Eagle decided to sponsor a local celebrity costume contest. We offered several well-known Wichitans $30 to spend in local thrift stores and asked them to put together costumes consisting mostly of the inexpensive items they scrounged up.
Some had the common sense to say “no” to our offer. But those who didn’t spent the last week parading into the newsroom to have their hilarious and/or horrific portraits taken.
We got Lynn Marshall as a bloody zombie bride. WSU women’s basketball coach Jody Adams as a bearded, camo-ed “Duck Dynasty” dude. Wichita Eagle columnist Bonnie Bing as her favorite block – writer’s block. Local physician Deb Outwater as a pretty, green version of “Shrek’s” Princess Fiona. Realtor Cindy Carnahan incognito as a masked Elvira. Admiral Windwagon Smith Todd Johnson as Admiral Undead from the Bottom of the Sea.
And Eagle publisher Kim Nussbaum as a living, breathing Sharknado.
The contestants had a few rules to follow. At least 50 percent of their costumes had to come from a local thrift store, and they could spend no more than $30 there. The rest of the costumes could be purchased or rummaged out of their own closets.
Most spent less than $10.
Now, readers get to choose who did it best.
Online voting has begun, and whichever celebrity Wichita Eagle readers agree came up with the best cheap costume gets to give $500 to his or her charity of choice.
Marshall, who left a trail of blood in the Eagle photo studio, said she’s already a winner. While shopping for her $7 zombie gown at the the downtown Value Center, she also came across a killer black velvet dress, which she bought to wear later.
Outwater found a purple, lace-up-the-back gown for $9.98, which she paired with a green shirt and matching Crocs she already had. Green face paint and an inexpensive Fiona wig from an online party store completed her look.
“We decided we’re not spending any money on costumes this year,” said Outwater, who’s also a mom. “We’re going to rummage through what we have. So this is good practice.”
Now, it’s time to vote. Peruse these portraits and decide which local celebrity you think came up with the best costume on a budget. You have until noon on Monday to cast your votes. We’ll announce the winner on Tuesday, and that person will have the privilege of making one local charity $500 richer.