They came as princesses, superheroes, fruits and vegetables.

Creativity, color and cool vibes were on full display at the 30th annual Kids Arts Festival. Children and adults showed off imaginative outfits that paid tribute to beloved characters and community ideals, in the festival’s first all-ages costume contest.

Judges handed out awards for the most creative boy and girl, best actor and best actress, most magical, best superhero, best young princess-in-training and best ensemble.

Ten-year-old Haley Ward of Schenectady charmed as Barbie, winning best actress. She wore a pink dress with silver sparkles and two frilly bracelets. “I love how Barbie’s happy and how she loves pink,” Haley said. “I love how she’s always so positive.”

Photo by Giordano Photography

The Electric City Community Grocery was honored as the best ensemble. Four adults involved with the effort to bring a community-owned grocery store to downtown Schenectady dressed up as a bean, strawberry, squash and corn. They were joined by Zane Tatem, whose family is also involved with the grocery’s efforts. They entertained and educated with a skit highlighting the benefits of fresh produce. Schenectady resident Elizabeth Walsh explained that the bean, squash and corn are known as the “three sisters.” “What’s special about my sisters and I is that we grow together, and we help each other out,” said Walsh, dressed as corn. “Together, we create so much abundance that we would never have been able to do alone.” Walsh was joined by Eric Johnson as the strawberry, Joanne Laflamme as the squash and Mary Scicchitano as the bean. Tatem wore a crown he created earlier in the day.

Photo by Giordano Photography

Five-year-old Indy Lomonaco’s costume was inspired by one of the suggested costume categories: famous Schenectadians. He dressed as Betsy Sandberg, who chairs the festival’s planning committee (Sandberg is also his great-aunt). Indy’s clever costume delighted attendees with its faithful reproduction of Sandberg’s trademark attire: a tie-dye t-shirt and garden tool bag worn around the waist. Of her grand-nephew’s decision to copy her look, Sandberg said, “I had no idea.”

Photo by Felix Lomonaco.

Contest sponsors included Nancy Bell, in memory of Eli I. Taub, one of the founders of the festival, and The Costumer, which sells costumes, wigs, makeup and props at its Mohawk Harbor store and rents outfits at its Barrett Street location.

Thanks to Proctors Collaborative, top costume winners received their choice of free tickets to Fandom Fest in August, the Broadway Camp production of “Fiddler on the Roof”, and to the July 19 performance of Rock Camp at Universal Preservation Hall.

Bear + Bird, a curated curiosity shop on Jay Street, made sure every entrant received a participation prize, donating a box of books, puzzles and pop-up tubes that light up in the dark.