BRATTLEBORO -- Melissa Schillinger was thrilled to win the chance to represent her state and she happily accepted a trip to California to don some graphic make-up and a red wig.
Schillinger, who grew up in Rockingham, was selected as Vermont's participant in the first-ever Hub Halloween Bash, a costume contest put together in the spirit of the spookiest day of the year by children's television channel The Hub, and won a free flight to Los Angeles for five days last week. Schillinger, 35, dressed up as a "killer clown" loosely based on the antagonist from the movie "It," from Stephen King's novel of the same name.
The two-hour special will be broadcast Saturday at 8 p.m., on The Hub.
One contestant or group was selected from each state and split into one of six categories -- Schillinger, a Springfield resident, landed in "Spooktacular" for her get-up.
"It was very busy. I didn't know that that much work when into a production like that," she told the Reformer. "It's interesting to see what goes on backstage."
Hosted by Kenan Thompson of "Saturday Night Live," The Hub's First Annual Halloween Bash is anchored by judges Martha Stewart, Coco Jones and Hal Sparks. The special includes performances by pop stars Cody Simpson and Fifth Harmony, and illusionist Nathan Burton. Nancy O'Dell of "Entertainment Tonight," Tamera Mowry-Housley of "The Real," Candace Cameron Bure of "Make It or Break It," and Gina Rodriguez of "Filly Brown" will also make appearances.
Schillinger said it was exciting because she used to watch Thompson on "All That" and "Kenan & Kel." The extravaganza will also feature celebrity presenters including Bill Nye the Science Guy, Nolan Gould of "Modern Family," and Zachary Gordon of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid."
According to hubworld.com, the grand prize is $25,000, though Schillinger knows she did not win.
She told the Reformer each costume was given zero to 40 points based on creativity, originality and execution and an addition zero to 60 for overall appeal. She said Friday she did not yet know her score.
Schillinger, a stay-at-home mom, said she has always had a fascination with all things spooky and scary. That's why she was the first person that came to mind for her sister-in-law, who told Schillinger about The Hub Halloween Bash, after finding out about it.
"I do a lot of creepy stuff for Halloween," she said. Schillinger isn't sure if she would do it again, but said she had fun meeting the cast and crew involved with the production.
According to hubworld, The Hub asked fans to submit photos of their best Halloween costumes in a variety of categories earlier in the season.
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.