Ari Rizzitano summoned some spirits to create the perfect Halloween costume this year — and for those trying to come up with an outfit with a wicked Boston twist, it’s going to be tough to beat.
The Somerville resident this weekend showed up for an event at the Cambridge Brewing Company decked out in a homemade replica of the Sav-Mor Discount Liquors sign and display board, a project she threw together in about a week.
After sharing a picture of her get-up online Saturday, and later showing it off at the brewing company’s Halloween gathering, she earned the unofficial award for “best locally-themed costume” from admirers.
“I wasn’t that surprised [by the reaction],” said Rizzitano, 28. “Some people hadn’t seen the sign before and didn’t get it. But the people who had seen it went nuts for it.”
For those unfamiliar with the Sav-Mor phenomenon, the Somerville store’s message board is something of a local legend. For the last six or so years, Robert Weiner, whose family owns the Sav-Mor stores in the area, has been putting up droll and humorous messages on the outdoor display, earning the business recognition on a late-night television talk show and in many viral posts online.
Last year, Sav-Mor indulged in a lengthy sign-battle with the McDonald’s restaurant across the street from its Somerville location, on McGrath Highway. The back-and-forth lasted at least a month, as the two businesses tried to outwit each other with clever sayings. The war was amusing enough to capture a nationwide audience.
Rizzitano said Sav-Mor’s reputation for coming up with entertaining messages was what inspired her to concoct her costume for the spooky holiday.
She saw the store’s most recent sign, which read “Sexy Liquor Store Sign Hot Costume 2017,” a riff on how many costumes for women are transformed into sexualized themes, and set to work on her project.
“I was planning on doing something else for Halloween,” she said. “And I said, ‘Hey, that’s actually a pretty good idea.’”
The costume was made from foam core board, and cardboard letters, letter boards, and a backpack. She used two sticks to keep the sign standing above her head.
Weiner, the wit behind Sav-Mor’s messages, was impressed with the outfit. He could recall only one other time that someone had attempted to dress as his family’s business for Halloween He said Rizzitano’s was by far the better of the two.
“You know, I don’t know if humbling is the right word, but it’s pretty cool that something that I have nurtured has become a local celebrity,” he said. “Like a local landmark.”
Still looking for a costume with a Boston twist? Here’s a list of ideas put together by Globe reporters.Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.