The Thirsty Hippo throws costume contest


The Thirsty Hippo held a music show and a costume contest Oct. 27 for Halloween. Local musicians came together from other bands to bring the music of Blondie and Nirvana back from the dead while the ghouls and goblins of Downtown Hattiesburg got to show off their costume making skills.

Owner Brad Newton said that the Thirsty Hippo has always done something to get into the Halloween spirit but started cover band shows three years ago with Weezer cover bands. Newton said people come not only to dress up and have fun, but also to listen to bands pull off the covers.

The show was held in the backroom stage of the Hippo where the stage was covered in cobwebs and other spooky paraphernalia. Taking the stage first was the Hairy Debbie’s—an homage to the lead singer of Blondie Debbie Harry—performing a plethora of Blondie greatest hits from “One Way or Another” to “Atomic.”

Drummer of the Hairy Debbie’s and senior biology major William Bird said the group has been practicing Blondie songs for months in preparation for the show. Bird said he mourned that this will be the band’s only performance.

“We practiced a whole bunch, and the musicians are really talented. I think when we bring it all together it is going to be a good time,” Bird said.

Randy Riley, bassist for DeeDee Catpiss and the Fuzz Coffins and a major player in the Hattiesburg punk scene, said he will go to anything at the Hippo that involves local music. He said even cover shows are important in supporting local art.

“I know that DeeDee, who is fronting Nirvana as Kurt Cobain, loved Nirvana, so I know their songs will be done well,” Riley said.

Rylee House took third place for her “Taco Belle,” costume, which was a mixture of the famous fast food restaurant Taco Bell and Belle from the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast.” Second place was a couple’s costume of Macho man Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan by Whitney Miracle and Justin Tracy. Honorable mention went to Brittany Purvis who dressed up as a moth.

First place collectively went to nurse at Pine Belt Dermatology Stephanie Sharp and owner of ATM

Solution Kiley Sharp for their couple’s costume of a raven and scarecrow. They worked for three weeks to build their costumes, which involved crafting a set of pumpkin guts under plastic ribs for Kiley’s outfit and affixing feathers to Stephanie’s dress.

Stephanie and Kiley Sharp both wore masks they crafted themselves. Kiley Sharp’s pumpkin head was crafted out of a precut jack o’lantern they found at Target and Stephanie Sharp’s mask had a masquerade mask base built to look like a raven’s beak.

The Sharps said they love costume building and design, and they always work hard every Halloween, as it is their favorite holiday.

The Thirsty Hippo is holding another event called “Halloween at the Hippo,” starting on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. where Electric Witch, Swamp Temple and Sleepyhead will be performing.