Disco lights illuminate the room as a person in a six-foot tall inflatable dinosaur costume waddled around the dance floor leading a conga line.
University of Oregon senior Sara Brown was the one donning the costume. Brown is a member of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History’s student club at UO. The club put together a Dino Disco on Jan. 25 to celebrate the opening of the museum’s new exhibit, Dinosaurs Fake Flight.
Brown — who has been part of the club since her freshman year — wore the costume to hype up the attendees who were encouraged to dress up in their “dino best” and participate in a costume contest.
Although the number of people who showed up in costumes was small, those who did were enthusiastic about their dino getup.
Guthrie Stafford, Elle Coleman, Elise Beck and Chaucie Edwards were part of a group of students that came dressed as evolution.
“There’s a common question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? We have the definitive answer,” Stafford said.
Their evolutionary process starts out with an egg, which evolves into a velociraptor, which evolves into an archaeopteryx — a bird-like dinosaur — which ultimately becomes a chicken.
They referred to it as “the evolutionary process at work: a snapshot in time.”
Their homemade getup consisted of construction paper accessories taped to their heads, recycled plastic bottle beaks and tails, repurposed scraps of fuzzy fabric as wings and, for the egg, pillows to stuff the shirt.
The group had an eco-friendly crafting party to prepare for the night. They bought and repurposed recycled materials to fit their costumes.
“Save the planet ’cuz what happened to the dinosaurs could happen to us,” Stafford said.
For Stafford, who came up with the idea to go, attending the event was an opportunity to work on his new year’s resolution.
“To go out and experience the nightlife,” he said. “This is one step in that direction.”
After modeling their costumes to a cheering crowd, the group — who were the only ones dressed up — was declared the winner. But, in a final twist, another contestant, who didn’t realize the judging was happening, stepped up to show her costume. She was dressed as cowgirl ichthyornis with a homemade white cardboard mask and wings.
In the end, the two parties decided to share their prizes: a sloth teddy bear and a water bottle.
The group came to the event to spend a disco night surrounded by dinos and win a costume party — which they did.
“What I like about dinosaurs is that they’re awesome,” Stafford said. “It’s like a lizard the size of a truck. That’s just so cool.”
The exhibit is on display now and will be open through May 19. The Museum of Natural and Cultural History is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. For more information on prices and other exhibits visit their website.