By Adriana Ruiz
Pirates, hippies and witches showed up Monday at Koehler Cultural Center for the Staff Council Halloween costume party, an event for all staff members to enjoy food, games and fun.
The historic mansion was decorated inside and out by Staff Council members.
The gates leading to the entrance were covered in spiderwebs, plastic human limbs were scattered on the grounds, and guests were greeted at the door by fog produced with dry ice.
Orange and purple lights created a spooky atmosphere and spiderwebs covered the grand piano and fireplace.
Guests helped themselves to a Halloween-themed food buffet of mini pizzas, chips and dip, hot wings and mini sliders, along with water and punch.
Ten guests participated in a costume contest judged by enrollment specialist Henry Castillo and Counselor Roland Garza.
The grand prize winner of a Vivitar digital camera was OTS technician Nestor Rivera, who showed up dressed as Adeptus Mechanicus, a character from the game “Warhammer 40,000.”
Rivera’s costume made heads turn as he walked into the dining room.
He stood about 6 foot 8 inches wearing platform boots covered by a long burgundy cloak. He wore a gas mask that lit up with the touch of a button and he held an ax.
“I wanted to stand out in the crowd,” Rivera said. He built the costume himself, excluding the cloak, which cost between $200-$250.
He said he travels to anime conventions in Texas to compete in costume contests.
Second place winner was Kim-Briana Lorine, Student Government Association treasurer and writing center tutor, who was dressed as a werewolf and won a mini flashlight.
Third place winner was Juan Zamora, computer support technician who dressed as a pirate and won a mouse pad.
About 35 guests trickled in, but the night was filled with laughs and staff members grouped together to take pictures on the front steps of Koehler.
Staff members stayed after the party to take down decorations, put food away and clean up.
Staff Coun-cil President Helen Torres said the main goal of the event was to create friendships and fellowship in a fun environment.
“We all respected the area and we all stayed and helped clean and I think that is fellowship,” said Torres.