On Saturday, I embarked on one of the most serious responsibilities I've ever had in my ten years of working on Gothamist: Being one of the judges of the 15th Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest—and it turned out there were 119 entries, some with multiples dogs. Dog day afternoon, indeed!
Organized by Fort Greene Pups, the event has become a beloved event in Fort Greene Park for dog owners to show how their dogs can (or can't) withstand wearing elaborate getups. My fellow judges were actor Rosie Perez and photographer Christopher Franko, and we collectively cooed over all the entrants. But I quickly realized some things:
Not all dog costumes are created equal: Store-bought costumes are fine, but when you see them at a dog costume contest, they don't really compare to someone's recreation of the Up house —complete with helium balloons—worn by an adorable pitbull. Then he had a friend dressed as Carl! Then there was a dog dressed as a topiary—and his humans were a cheerleader and Edward Scissorhands!
You don't even really need a costume: I loved the dog whose owner used make-up to make her pup look like Frankenstein, really, Frankenweenie.
I love props! It helps to have a huge "Neverending Story" book to accompany your Falcor dog.
I love puns! No, it's not Doctor Who—it's Doctor Boo! There was also Pup Francis, the People's Pup.
Humiliating the humans means points: To the dude who went shirtless as he carried his luau pu-pu platter dog, God bless you. To the dude dressed as a sheriff and let his Bob Marley dog "shoot" him so he fell on the ground, good work! To the lady who wore an insane Sharknado contraption on her body, that's definitely part of why we gave you first place. (Also, your partner's arm was missing and the "sharks"/dogs had bloody limbs in their mouths.)
Timeliness counts: There were Banksy and government shutdown dogs. However, I was disappointed by the lack of CitiBike dogs (CitiBark?).
Bribes for the judges are appreciated. That meth from the Barking Bad crew was great.
Other trends: Games of Thrones dogs, dogs dressed as food and lots of dinosaurs. I'll be waiting for a Gravity dog next year!