Tompkins Halloween Dog Parade Returns With Biggest Crowd Ever

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.

A pizza and chef at Saturday’s parade
Abba-zada’s owner Seth lives in Williamsburg so he dressed up as the L train.

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.

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Potato the dog “sends rats packing” as New York City’s “rat czar.”
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Ross is a puppy and this is his first Halloween.

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.

“Pookah loves his coconut treats just like Winnie the Pooh loves honey,” said Sam.
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A tiny pirate
Joelle Andres dressed her dog Bastian as game show host Bob Barker, who died in August. Bastian split his time between the cavity of the TV and his father’s arms.
Moon sports painted fur for his Joker costume.
Moose the stegosaurus
Ross dressed up as a lobster this year.
Misty arrived as Coco Chanel. “She’s a very classy dog,” said owner Mary Lisa Sullivan. “She will not beg — for food.”
Greta and Otter showed up as Cleopatra and Marc Antony. “Greta’s just a queen,” said owner Debbie Wheatley. “She lounges, she wants to be pampered, and when I take her on stage, she snaps into position.” Wheatley and Libby Stadstad are set designers and have been spending a lot of time on strike watching Egyptology documentaries.
Isabel Mann with nine-year-old Ziggy. Mann likes to bake, so Ziggy dressed up as cookie dough.
Harvey and Nelly dressed as anti-capitalist orcas on a mission to sink their billionaire owners’ yacht. “He has radical politics,” said Harvey’s owner Molly. “He barked at a dog dressed as a cop.”
Cookie (Ruff-anna) and Boo (A$AP Barky) are cousins from New Jersey. Boo “loves the spotlight,” according to his owner Anna Wintour.
“He’s always smelling rats in the city, trying to get us to take him in the subway, because he can smell the rats,” said Muddy Mac’s owner Lou. Muddy Mac is a border terrier, “so he’s bred to hunt vermin.”

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