Tompkins Square's Annual Halloween Dog Parade Was Spooktacular
Halloween dog parades are a common sight across the US during this time of the year. However, none are as elaborate, or as competitive, as the one held in New York City’s Tompkins Square Park. The largest event of its kind, the annual parade attracts over 300 dogs and their proud owners, who often work hard and spend exorbitant sums of money to create unique costumes to win their pets the coveted “Best in Show” title. This year’s competition, which took place on Saturday, October 21, was no exception.
Thousands of fans arrived early to the park located on the Lower East Side of New York City to admire the spectacular costumes of the four-legged contestants, many of whom were accompanied by owners wearing complementary ensembles. They were not disappointed!
As is the case each year, popular food items were well-represented with a taco, lobster, tootsie roll, and even an owner/dog team dressed as cotton candy. There was also a UPS driver, a Starbucks barista, as well as Waldo, from “Where’s Waldo?”
Hollywood was ubiquitous with Superman, minions, a stunning Cruella de Vil and her 101 Dalmatians, as well as Elle Woods and her little pooch, both dressed in their hallmark pink attire. Pennywise, the evil clown from the recent thriller It, also made an appearance.
Pipi, a York, perched upon a small airplane and posed as Amelia “Doghart,” while Toto, of the Wizard of Oz fame, strutted in with Dorothy and Glinda the Good Witch of the North. Oscar, a paralyzed dog that only has use of his front legs, was an astronaut on a mission aboard the International Space Station, which in this case was his wheelchair, transformed with patches and stickers sent in by NASA.
Of course, no parade is complete without celebrities. US President Donald Trump, carrying a sign seeking hurricane relief donations, was in attendance, as were Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. Both were dressed in the denim garb they wore at the 2001 American Music Awards.
Although all the costumes were incredible, it was four French bulldogs, Harley, Baby, Dakota, and Gus, posing as tourists — French of course — aboard a New York Sightseeing bus that got the vote for “Best in Show.” Proud owner Diane Ferrer, who made the faux bus using PVC piping, foam board and lots of red duct tape, said she had to rent a truck to bring the massive prop to the park. However, her efforts were well-rewarded with a $250 gift card and two tickets to the Broadway musical hit Hamilton.
An adorable bulldog behind “bars” in a makeshift prison cell, from the 1995 Hollywood cult-classic Shawshank Redemption, took the second prize, while an exquisitely dressed Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France before the revolution, came in third. Diane Lucchi and Asha Vereen, who created an aquarium and dressed their three dogs as an angelfish, a lionfish, and a clownfish, took home the prize for “Best Costume.” Regardless of whether they won, all the dogs, and their owners, were stars.
Are you planning to take your pet to a Halloween costume contest? If so, let us know what he/she is going as by adding your comment below.
Have a Spooktacular Halloween!
Resources: nycparadlife.com, abcnews.com, cnn.com.
Reading Comprehension (13 questions)
- How is the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade different from the thousands held across the country?
- How many dogs does it attract each year?
Critical Thinking Challenge
“Regardless of whether they won, all the dogs, and their owners,...
Vocabulary in Context
“Hollywood was also omnipresent with Superman, minions, a stunning Cruella De Ville and her 101 Dalmatians, as well as Elle Woods and her little pooch, both dressed in their ...