Employees of the Worthington Parks and Recreation Department hope to bring attention to sustainability once again this Halloween with the city's annual costume swap.
Participants may bring gently used children's costumes to the Worthington Community Center, 345 E. Wilson Bridge Road, any day before the event in exchange for a ticket that will allow them to pick another costume from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, in the center's community room.
Parks and recreation event supervisor Jeremy Dean said the event is free.
"We just ask that people donate a costume before getting to pick out their new used costume," he said.
One costume selection is permitted per child.
The community center also will accept costume donations from those who are not participating.
Worthington resident Rosanne Nagel, who donated costumes for the event during its first year in 2014, said she had many reasons for her donation, but it originated from a "growing awareness" about sustainability in fashion, household economies and community.
"At the time, with a 4-year-old, I started to see the possible cost, waste and frustrations of getting new costumes every year," she said. "While I appreciate the excitement of new costumes and new concepts, it didn't seem practical for everyone I knew to be buying potentially expensive costumes that would be worn once and possibly donated, but still be one more piece of 'stuff' out there in our world."
Nagel said she was having conversations with other mothers about the pitfalls of Halloween marketing and the "intense materialism" surrounding the holiday.
"It wasn't as fun to be creative about Halloween, so a motivation developed to do costuming in a new way," she said.
Julie Sergent, marketing and outreach coordinator for the parks and recreation department, said she came up with the idea for similar reasons.
Sergent said she was inspired by National Costume Swap Day, a countrywide movement that started in 2010 encouraging parents to swap costumes for their children and encourage sustainability, to start the local event in 2014.
"We wanted to bring that idea to the community," she said.
She said thus far, the event has been successful, with 85 costumes swapped last year.
"People love it," she said.
For more information about the event or the Worthington Community Center, go to worthington.org.