There were several big-time Halloween dog costume events happening all over the city yesterday, including the debut of the PUPkin Zone as part of Central Park's massive Pumpkin Festival, and Fort Greene's long-established Great PUPkin competition, which boasted more than its fair share of prestigious judges. But the granddoggy of them all had to be the 23rd Annual Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade, which drew scores of crazily-costumed pups and the owners who love them, to the East Village.
The event is more costume contest than parade—given that thousands of spectators pack into the dog run, there's really no room for any marching—with round after round of contestants taking to the penned-off stage area, all vying for an prizes like as Broadway theater tickets (Matilda, Annie), hefty gift certificates, and lots of dog treats and gear. There are about five winners in each round, and it goes on for hours, so only the most obsessive watcher would be able to keep track of it all. But, heck, it's a dog costume costume, so everyone's a winner right?
As far as dog costume trends go, there were a fair number of meme-ish outfits there: a couple of "Barknados"; a Miley/Robin Thicke thing; a Spraaaaang Break-er (barker?); a few Barking Bad get-ups; and a Barksy that really didn't have much to do with the dog but was still pretty cool. A King Kong/Fay Wray/ESB trio; packs of Peter Pan, Ninja Turtle, Star Wars, and Alice in Wonderland characters; Liberace; a loofa; gangs of generic princesses; animals-that-aren't-dogs; a mop; and slews of super-heros (special shout-out to the green-skinned Hulk!) were also in attendance. Oh and there was a Shitzu dressed as a toilet, which was either hilarious or not, depending.
Really, the people's number one costume idea for the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade was to dress up their dog as something that humans eat. Hot dogs, of course, were plentiful, but there were also all kinds of candy, ice cream, slabs of cheese, a roasted turkey and, the single most popular costume of the day, by far: The dog-as-lobster. Often stuck into a pot of boiling water. You people are sick!