A pup pack, all dressed as sheep, being herded by their humans, dressed as sheepdogs? A majestic black Great Dane, shining as a knight in silver armor with his warrior princess? A couple dressed in mardi gras meets muertos, with their three ghoulishly grand turned out Chihuahuas? It must be the Thompkins Square Park Halloween Pet Parade, which featured my picks of the best Halloween pet costumes this year!
It was quite the experience this year! This annual event, now in its 25th year, was co-hosted by Ada Nieves and actor/fashion designer, Stephen Lyndon Kramer Glickman, and was sponsored by Purina Beggin’. 10,000 attended, most with their pets, with close to 400 costumed contestants throwing their pointed, sequined or other festive hats in the ring to win the coveted prize of best costume of the year.
Which was the lucky one to capture the thorny crown? Dia de los Muertos was the big winner, created by my friend, Amy Cox. It was, by far, the most intricate and cohesive costume ensemble. Amy worked on her Day of the Dead piece de resistance for months, making everything herself, including her three Chihuahua’s designs.
“I shipped a box that weighted 137 lbs to the hotel for this,” she declared. I asked her what this holiday means to her, and here’s what she said. “Dia de los Muertos is a holiday where, especially in the Latin community, it’s a celebration of life. For those who’ve passed onto heaven, it doesn’t mean they’re not here with us. So, it’s a celebration of them. We spend a lot of time in Mexico where I do animal rescue, so I thought I’d bring some of that spirit of life to NYC, which I feel is a very lively place, too. It’s a holiday that is very colorful and spiritual, and I really enjoyed bringing all of the elements together.” Amazing job, Amy!
Another highlight was the adorable ensemble Dorie Herman, mom to Instagram dog star, @ChloeKardoggian, cooked up with some fellow Instagram notables. The group, including Cookie of @ps.ny, Ella Bean of @EllaBeantheDog, Mochi of @MochiintheCity, Royce of @RoycetheFrenchie, among others, dressed up as a herd of sheep, with their humans dressing as sheep dogs. It was super creative and Bark & Swagger met up with them as they were getting ready and Periscoped them walking, en masse, into the event.
Here are highlights of my day at the Parade!
Hope you got a good taste of the creativity, time and passion for their pets those who attended this year showed. It was exhilarating to see and so much fun to participate in. With the way this parade is growing, I think they’ll need a bigger venue soon!
Stay tuned for more fabulous pet fashion stories!