Costume? You Betcha!

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Chelsey Olauson
Basements are expected to be dark, somewhat less clean than the upstairs, and indescribably basement-y. Granny’s Closet causes a reconsideration of what a basement is: A bright, welcoming, and clean space meets customers as they enter Valley City’s amazing costume rental store. “Think of a theme,” and she’ll take it from there: Marie Esch of Granny’s Closet loves to help you assemble your dream costume. Halloween is coming up, which is a particularly busy time for costume rentals, but throughout the year, Granny’s Closet is open. From 12:30 pm to 5:20 pm, the wonderful bounty of history in the form of costumes is available to the public for rental. Costs average around $30, but the customer will receive about half the ticket price back when the costume is brought back in good condition.
Granny’s Closet is a nonprofit organization, with proceeds going towards funding Special Olympics, the Barnes County Public Library, Valley City Schools, Hospice, the Winter Show, Salvation Army, Abused Person Outreach Center, Barnes County Wildlife, the Food Pantry, VC swimming pool, summer parks and recreation, scholarships, among many other programs.
Costume rental places like Granny’s Closet are few and far between, says Esch. Schools from all over the area as well as universities utilize Valley City’s costume rental store when performing plays or hosting costume parties.
Granny’s began in 1982, in the Omwick Theatre. In 1988, it moved to its current location.
Now, the collection has expanded exponentially, and Esch continues to add new costumes. “About 50 costumes are new this year,” she says, showcasing the Disney outfits, which include the Beast, the Seven Dwarves, Belle, Gaston, Rapunzel, Esmerelda, Ursula, and Jasmine.
It’s “not just the costume, it’s accessorizing” with, for example, a scarf or gloves. Accessories are one thing that Granny’s has in spades: Hats, gloves, shoes, boas, and jewelry galore. “There are a lot of cool things down here,” Esch says, and I agree.
The cost for the costume rental covers the maintenance fee, which ensures that everything is clean and sanitary, something Esch is emphatic about.
With “just a little imagination,” Esch encourages potential costume creators to create, and Granny’s Closet can help you in your aspirations to create the perfect costume this Halloween.