ST. ALBANS — All bets are off on who will win this year’s Running of the Bells costume contest but two time defending champs, Ross and Barb Toof, are ready to claim back their crown.

It might not be as easy this year though.

“People are saying they are going to take our trophy away from us,” Ross Toof told the Messenger.

In particular, St. Albans City Mayor Tim Smith has challenged the Toofs in the best-dressed family category.

“He and his family have dressed up every single year. So he’s put a lot of time and effort into it,” Barb explained.

But because of the ramped up competition, the Toofs wouldn’t reveal to the Messenger what this year’s costume would be. The only hint they gave was that it was going to be all family members on deck.

“Usually there was just four of us, but this year we’re bringing everyone together,” Ross said.

There will be ten Toofs total in costume. For many of them it will be their first year, but Ross and Barb have kept this tradition since the Running of the Bells began eight years ago.

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