The much-beloved Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade has been cancelled this year, according to a post on the event's Facebook page, which is run by a longtime volunteer of the dog run, Garrett Rosso. We have a feeling things will turn around before October, but as of now the group has declared it's over.
It’s with a very heavy heart that I have to announce that the annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade will be CANCELLED this year.
Although the parade has grown over the past 28 years, it has always been the creation of a small group of volunteers from the dog park. The Parks Dept is asking for a large insurance & liability policy in order to hold the event this year — and we simply don’t have the funds or sponsor willing to provide it.
Having a means to fundraise (or a park conservancy which Tompkins Square does not) was a pre-requisite to renovating our dog park. Over the years the parade has raised more than $200,000.00 for the park — and secured twice that amount in matching funds. We are also leaving the dog park with an endowment at City Parks Foundation for it’s maintenance and upkeep for the next 10 years.
We wish to thank all our sponsors as well as everyone who has donated time, money, effort or stayed up to the wee hours getting that super hero cape to fit just perfectly on their dog.
We’re hopeful that the annual dog parade will return in some form in the future.
was set up this morning by Therese Moriarty, a fan of the event, with a goal of $15,000. She wrote, "This year, the parade's budget has ballooned. As a result, the organizers have not been able to secure a sponsor and they may be forced to cancel this crucial fundraising event for the Tompkins Square Dog Run."
We've reached out to Rosso, as well as the Parks Department, and will update if we hear back. For now, click through for a look at last year's halloween parade.
UPDATE: Crystal Howard of the Parks Dept. offered this comment on the news, "Puppies donning the cutest costumes is something we and all New Yorkers have looked forward to each Halloween since the parade’s inception—this year is no different." We suppose if this event is really cancelled, everyone can head over to the Fort Greene one.
According to Parks, they do not charge the insurance fee. The fee is from the insurance company the permit applicant (in this case, the parade organizers) is working with. However, the high attendance in recent years meant that Parks had to require a contract, and because of that contract, a certificate of insurance (COI) valued at $1 million was required. The first year the event had to get a COI was in 2017.
Kath Hansen, who runs the Fort Greene halloween dog parade, told Gothamist, "Last year was the first year Fort Greene PUPS had to get a Citywide permit, and therefore secure a COI. Before that, we simply paid a $25 Borough permit fee and had our event for the previous 18 years with no problem. Purchasing insurance was a significant expense, and we had to work hard to raise the funds. I don’t know what our insurance costs will be for this October and can only hope that they don’t go up. It’s our 20th year for our event!"