October 29, 2021
Ferry Facts: Best Halloween Costume Ever
Ferry Wins First Place in Cape May ParadeHalloween came a week early to the ferry this year, when the Gauthier family arrived at the Cape May terminal last Saturday to give staff a sneak peek of their sons' costumes for the next day's Cape May annual Halloween parade.
This year, in the age category of 7-9, the Ferry won first place in the parade held Sunday, October 24 thanks to our newest captain, Kenny Gauthier. Well, if truth be told, Kenny, age 9, won the award for going to the parade as a captain of our 57-year old ferry, but we feel sure he would have won in the over 50 age category as well!
Kenny, a native of Northbridge, Massachusetts, has been coming to the area since he was three months old. In 2019, the family purchased a second home in North Cape May, and three years ago the family started participating in the Cape May Halloween parade. Then, as again this year, Kenny won first place in his age category but for a costume as a different type of traveler -- an astronaut.
"We are a big Halloween family," admitted Jaime Gauthier, the captain's mother.
This year, besides Kenny's well-deserved first-place win (we are not prejudiced), his seven-year-old brother Vinny took second place in the same age category for being a member of the Cape May Beach Patrol.
Saturday On Site
The Gauthiers take the five-hour ride to visit at least monthly throughout the year and stay all summer as both Gauthier parents are teachers. While spending time at their house located in North Cape May, Kenny developed a true affection for the ferry, and the family takes at least one annual ride on board to Lewes and back. At home, Kenny also tracks the Ferry closely -- largely through his mother's Instagram account -- and has made sure to wave to the M/V NJ throughout the last year whenever the family heads back north passing signs to Staten Island.
The day before the parade, after Kenny's father Matt, an 8th grade science teacher, put the finishing touches on the costume, Kenny insisted on visiting the ferry to pose next to the M/V Delaware, his inspiration for the costume. There, he ran into Captain Velli, and other on-site staff, all of whom couldn't stop admiring his amazing costume. A CMLF hat was found and donated to the cause so that Kenny -- who already sported a captain's badge and stripes on his white shirt -- could truly march as an honorary captain in the next day's festivities. "The on-site staff were so wonderful and excited for him," said his mother who also sent us all the great photos.
Costume design was a full-family collaborative project led by Kenny's father under the very specific directions of Kenny. He was clear on all the vessel requirements from the twin-stacks for the M/V Delaware to placement of the logo, lettering, words and flag on the various sides of the vessel.
The entire costume was completed -- amazingly -- in a week. The ferry body is made out of cardboard with black laminated construction paper used for the windows and wooden pillars added for railings. Black netting was placed on the bow and stern of each car deck. "Kenny was very specific about the details," commented his mother.
The ferry was attached to Kenny in two parts that were velcro'ed together on straps. "He carried it for the entire parade even though it was getting heavy at the end," his mother added.
On Monday, the costume was again separated into its two halves and loaded into the family SUV for the trip back to Massachusetts where it will reemerge on Halloween for a special sailing to Northbridge homes. Unlike other Trick or Treaters, Kenny won't need to carry a bag to bring home his loot as he has an entire car deck to carry his Halloween haul!
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