Behind the scenes with the genius behind the Nats Star Wars Day Racing Presidents costumes

Washington Post intern Lauren Loftus has published a wonderful behind-the-scenes profile of the genius behind the customized racing presidents costumes from Sunday’s Star Wars Day promotion at Nationals Park.

Nationals Star Wars Day Racing Presidentsracing presidents star wars costumes Natsracing presidents star wars costumesLongtime readers know that the Nationals’ racing presidents were built by Randy Carfagno Productions in New York City, but when Star Wars costumes, wigs, astronaut helmets, or other repairs or embellishments are called for, who do the Nationals call on?

DC-area parents are no doubt familiar with the work of Ingrid Crepeau, longtime puppeteer behind the children’s shows produced by Silver Spring-based Dino Rock Productions. Loftus’s piece explains how Crepeau has in recent years built a successful side business building, repairing, and costuming local sports mascots.

Crepeau tells the Post she’s been working on the presidents for six years, which makes a lot of sense. It was six years ago that Teddy missed several races when his costume frame cracked, an incident that the Post at the time called a “classic Washington cover-up.” On several other occasions, Teddy’s glasses have been damaged. With Crepeau on board, there’s no longer a need to send costumes to New York for repairs.

The piece also includes behind-the-scenes video. It’s a lovely profile of somebody who loves her work. “I love children’s laughter,” Crepeau tells Loftus. “That’s the best sound in the world, isn’t it?”

Video and Photos: The Washington Post

Racing Presidents get Botox treatment over All Star break

The Washington Nationals returned to town Tuesday night after a lengthy road trip that was preceded by the traditional All Star break — a two week stretch that represented the longest break of the season between games at Nationals Park.

The Washington Nationals Racing Presidents Abe Lincoln

Was Abe Lincoln's grimace too menacing for the kiddies?


With the trade deadline looming, it’s the season for surprise moves, and some fans arrived at Nationals Park expecting to see changes by general manager Mike Rizzo before the homestand concludes; but few expected a wholesale makeover of the presidents race roster.

Yet there it was on Tuesday night. Over the All Star break, every member of the Nationals racing presidents received a facelift.

The oversized caricatures of the Rushmores that first appeared in 2006 were gone — now replaced by slightly more cartoonish, smiling figures.

Was it a rumored licensing dispute with the designer that led to the change, or did the team simply think Abe Lincoln was just too menacing for the kiddies? Both the originals and the new-look racing presidents were created by Randy Carfagno Productions in New York.

No explanation yet from the Nats.

The Washington Nationals Racing Presidents

The Nationals racing presidents as we knew them (July 2006 - July 2010)

The Washington Nationals racing presidents got new costumes and a facelift courtesy of Randy Carfagno Productions

The presidents as they appeared after a 2010 All Star break facelift

Readers – What do you think of the new “botox smile” look?

New presidents photo by Flickr member Randy Carfagno

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