ANNAPOLIS – Move over, Peter Parker – Drew Ehrlich is the new Spider-Man.
Maryland’s 4-year-old first kid will be the web-slinging superhero Oct. 31, and his gubernatorial parents are swinging with him into their first Halloween as the state’s first family.
“I’m going to dress up as the governor, and Kendel may be dressing up as some pop teen star,” Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. joked.
“No, no, no. That is not true!” laughed Kendel S. Ehrlich when she heard about her husband’s announcement.
The pregnant first lady passed over the Britney Spears look she’s publicly distained in favor of what she calls a “classic witch” costume.
The first family has already started decorating the governor’s mansion and will trick-or-treat together Halloween night.
“Halloween is big in the house,” the first witch said.
Judging by the gigantic jack-o’-lantern on her front lawn, she’s not kidding.
Drew has already decided the 10-foot inflatable orange orb makes a great moon bounce substitute. The bouncing toddler and loves to crash into it and ricochet off, his mom said.
The Government House’s front lawn also sports two normal-sized jack-o’-lanterns, a fake graveyard and a pair of lampposts dressed up as witches. The Ehrlichs have also festooned the building’s rear entrance with purple tinsel, a wreath featuring a giant spider, a handful of bats and a friendly-looking mockup of Frankenstein’s monster.
This year’s trick-or-treaters can even get candy at the house’s front gate, Kendel Ehrlich said.
Her spokeswoman, Meghann Siwinski, said even the oldest workers at the governor’s mansion can’t recall the last time anyone handed out Halloween candy at the house. And some of those workers have served since Gov. Harry R. Hughes’ administration in the ’80s.
Drew’s costume decision also breaks a tradition of sorts.
“He has been Bob the Builder the last two years,” his only-slightly-exasperated dad said. “We are now out of our Bob the Builder stage. We are into Spider-Man and Scooby-Doo.” And when it came to costumes, the wall-crawling hero beat out the goofy crime-solving dog.
The first family will trick-or-treat in Annapolis with Drew’s friends, the proud parents report.
The family’s route might be publicized four or five days in advance, added Henry P. Fawell, a spokesman for the governor.
This will be “the first time we’ve ever had (state) troopers with us trick-or-treating,” the dad-in-chief said. “But, it’s probably not a bad idea, actually.”
“Hopefully,” Fawell quipped, “the increased (security) presence brings increased candy as well.”