Each year, thousands of New York City dog lovers gather at Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan’s East Village for the Halloween Dog Parade. Proud paw-rents and non-pet owners alike line up to admire the creativity of their fellow New Yorkers and see some of the cutest pups in all five boroughs.
The 33rd edition of the beloved event was briefly postponed earlier this year after planning it proved a bureaucratic nightmare of never-ending permits and exorbitant fees. Thankfully, the parade was saved and returned to “by far the biggest” crowd in history, according to Tompkins Square Dog Run “head pooper scooper” Joseph Borduin, who fields press emails. This was the first time the parade took place on the street, and around 600 pawed participants strolled down Avenue B for a few blocks before turning into the park. A drizzly morning didn’t keep people inside — approximately 15,000 spectators, some with two legs and some with four, watched the procession from the densely packed sidewalks.
Dog owners showed up with elaborate hand-made costumes and innumerable rolling apparatuses to perch their pets. Standout contestants included a canine “Bob Barker” behind the glass of a real TV; a nine-year-old pup in a larger-than-life KitchenAid stand mixer (he was cookie dough); and two instances of pets dressed as the city’s newly appointed “rat czar.” A pod of orcas sinking the yachts of their billionaire owners, an expertly designed Marc Antony and Cleopatra, and two cousins dressed as “A$AP Barky” and “Ruff-ana” were among other highlights.
The event was so crowded that access to the costume contest at the end of the parade was restricted with wristbands available (hours earlier) on a first-come-first-serve basis. By the time the prizes were handed out, the sun was shining and it had turned into a perfect specimen of a New York City fall day.
Below, we’ve compiled some of this year’s best looks to get us all in the Halloween spirit.