Dressing the part

Nanaimo couple puts effort into Halloween costumes every year

It’s not about how much money, time and effort you spend on a Halloween costume, it’s how much fun you have.

Teresa Lovric and Larry Grabeldinger know how to have fun – and come up with some killer costumes at the same time.

The costume hunting started a few months ago, when Lovric came across an online classified listing for a Cowardly Lion costume.

“His favourite character [from The Wizard of Oz] is the Cowardly Lion,” Lovric said. “We’ve been looking for a costume for years.”

The right costume presented itself, specially made for a school production of the Wizard of Oz. It was also big enough to fit someone with a size 12 shoe.

“It was perfect,” Lovric said. “It was like it was made for him.”

Before they met, they both liked dressing up for Halloween, sporting events and Christmas. The fun got more serious about seven years ago after an invitation to a Halloween party and they struggled to find a theme, until inspiration struck.

“He said, would I look like Shrek? I said, pfft, yeah,” Lovric said.

They headed to Fantasy Island Costume, a company that’s no longer in business, and the owners helped put together Shrek’s outfit, cutting a bear costume for the vest, a monk costume for the long shirt. Grabeldinger combined that with tights and his Navy-issue boots.

Lovric wore a wig, a crushed velvet dress and the crown made by the costume ladies.

“We painted each other green and went to the party,” she said.

They were such a hit that they headed out pub hopping after the party.

“One guy offered him [Grabeldinger] $20 to go to his house and see his kid,” Lovric said.

The next year they improved on their costumes, creating paper mache ears, and headed to Vancouver as part of a pub crawl.

“Everywhere we went, people wanted to get their picture taken with us,” Lovric said. “It was like we were Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.”

After Shrek and Fiona, they went as Fred and Wilma, from The Flintstones, and this year the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

Grabeldinger celebrated Halloween as an adult as far back as university.

“We used to go as Kiss,” he said. “I was the biggest guy, so I went as Gene Simmons.”

Lovric loves Halloween, too, collecting two large bins of costumes throughout the years, which she often used on her office co-workers.

“I would just take my bins of costumes to work,” she said. “People would participate because they didn’t have a choice.”

The couple is a few hundred dollars into the costumes this year, but stress it doesn’t have to cost much at all to put an original costume together.

Grabeldinger’s Fred Flintstone outfit was a piece of orange fabric decorated with a black Sharpie. They check online classifieds, like Used Nanaimo, and haunt Value Village for bargains.

If they’re looking for something specific, they head to Patties Party Palace, which will special order all kinds of items.

“Pattie knows us,” Grabeldinger said.

It’s not just at Halloween that the couple dons costumes – Grabeldinger is an enthusiastic member of the Rider Nation. He had his head painted to look like a Saskatchewan Roughriders helmet during Grey Cup in Edmonton, and other games he wore a bright green wig and a cape.

Heading to a game in Vancouver, Lovric, in her B.C. Lions jersey, attracted attention for painting Grabeldinger’s face green and white while onboard B.C. Ferries.

They did the same for the round-robin hockey game between Canada and the U.S. during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“I got painted up for that, too,” Grabeldinger said. “It’s not just exclusive to Halloween but you have to be brave enough to go out there.”

Now with a baby grandchild, Grabeldinger and Lovric are sharing the fun with the next generation – and planning a costume with a red suit and a white beard.

Lovric and Grabeldinger plan to hit the Queen’s this weekend for the bar’s costume contest, which carries a top prize of $250.

“We’re too old to go to any other clubs in town,” Lovric said.

For more information on Halloween activities, please see the What’s On calendar.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman who was killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read