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New York’s snazziest pooches: Halloween edition

From Elvis and Priscilla Presley to “Miss New Yorkie,” here’s how dogs and their owners celebrated Halloween at the 32nd annual Tompkins Square Dog Parade.

October 27, 2022

Hundreds of decked-out dogs flooded the East Village for the 32nd annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade on Saturday, Oct. 22. Accompanying them were their dressed up owners, equally enthusiastic dog-less New Yorkers, a few cats and at least one skunk — that we know of.

The back of a figure with short, wavy brown hair wears a red sweater while carrying a large, white dog through a crowd of people outside of Tompkins Square Park. The dog wears a harlequin party hat and a black collar.

The event could quite literally be heard from miles away. The streets filled with people moving in zombie-like hordes toward the park. Though the parade itself is most notably a costume contest, attendees had to first overcome the challenge of making it past the park’s perimeter, which consisted of dolled-up dogs and their visibly stressed owners. Some had the foresight to carry their pets through the crowd — regardless of their size — giving everyone a delightfully better view.

A man wearing a red hooded zip-up sweatshirt smiles for a photo in Tompkins Square Park, holding a Citi Bike that has a gray basket attached to the front. A black pug with its tongue out sits inside the basket. A gray knit blanket is draped over the dog, and there's a hand holding a phone on the right taking a photo of the dog and the owner.

Many participants coordinated their costumes with their pets, which rivaled even the most creative couples’ costumes. This recreation of a classic scene from Steven Spielberg’s “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” is the perfect fit for this senior pug — a breed endearingly compared to gremlins by those who love them most.

A crowd of people gather in the skate park of Tompkins Square Park. A person on the left holds a six-foot-long selfie stick with a phone attached.

As is the case with most events nowadays, the parade doubled as a photo-op. In the Tompkins skate park — where one of the event’s two stages was set up — dogs were paraded in front of the audience by their owners. Taking up only a corner of the skate park, the rest of the space was filled with owners and their pets mingling. Some of the more impressively costumed groups posed for photos in a conveyor-belt-like fashion near the north fence. Attendees came equipped with all sorts of gear to capture their favorite moments, from film cameras to this six-foot long selfie stick.

A dog owner wears an orange and black witch costume, and their dog wears a matching costume with a small witch hat, orange bow and black-and-orange tutu. A crowd of people stand in the background.
A dog owner wears a Priscilla Presley costume with an all-white outfit, black wig, long veil and white knee-high boots. Their dog wears an Elvis Presley costume with a miniature wig. A crowd of people stand in the background.
A person in the crowd wears a rainbow clown wig and accessories. They hold a white chihuahua that wears a matching costume.

The park was filled with people and dogs of all ages, making it impossible to pick a favorite. From a terrier dressed as Queen Elizabeth II — bright pink dress suit included — to an Italian Greyhound dressed as the Rock, there was never a dull moment. This sleepy rainbow-haired clown, however, was arguably one of the cutest contenders for the parade’s “Best Chihuahua” category.

An Australian Shepherd wears a light pink tutu, light pink wings and a bright pink leash. The dog’s owner stands next to the dog, wearing white heeled boots and a long floral pink dress. A crowd of people stand in the background.
A couple stands with their small, white dog in the Tompkins Square Park skate area. The pair are dressed as astronauts and their dog is dressed as a N.A.S.A. jetpack.
A couple stands in the middle of Tompkins Square Park wearing sunflower costumes with their small, brown dog wearing a bumble bee costume.
A couple in overalls and beekeeper veils sit on a park bench with their brown-and-black cat sitting between them wearing a bee costume.

Despite being outnumbered by an overload of adorably costumed dogs, the real star of the show was this cat. Adorned with the sweetest bumblebee costume of the day, the feline leisurely observed the Halloween chaos while stretched out on his owners’ laps. Their overalls and matching beekeeper hats made them stand out even more from the other — just as lovable — canine bees roaming the park.

A large crowd of people walk through Tompkins Square Park as one person points to their right and holds a sign with an illustration of a corgi and text that says “END OF LINE.”
A couple wearing matching Dalmatian onesies walk with their Dalmatian through a crowd in Tompkins Square Park.

While some of the most common costumes of the day consisted of New York food staples, including hot dogs and tacos, these owners flipped the script by dressing up as their dog instead. Quite some time into the start of the parade, an impressive crowd can still be seen gathered in the background, as attendees demonstrated an unbeatable commitment to seeing as many cute dogs in fairy wings and dog wigs as possible.

A tan-colored Yorkshire terrier wearing a pink, ruffled dress with a white-and-gold sash that says “MISS NEW YORKIE.” Their owner stands nearby with their brown boots in frame.
Three people cross the street at Avenue A and 9th Street. One holds a black-and-white dog wearing a pink unicorn costume, and the other two are not wearing costumes. A crowd walks through the park behind them.

This Avenue A crosswalk became a catwalk — or rather, dogwalk — as people began to trickle out of the park, heading to a late lunch or early Saturday drinks with their decked-out dogs in tow. Despite starting at 1 p.m., the parade continued even after attendees began leaving, with costumed pets popping up throughout the East Village for the rest of the day.

A tan-colored, long-haired dog sits on the seat of a motorcycle wearing a Ghostface costume with a small mask on its head. It looks directly at the camera, and cars and Tompkins Square Park are in the background.

While the parade has come to a close, voting for “Best in Show” is still open, though it’ll certainly be a near-impossible decision considering this year’s incredibly creative contestants. As we stumbled upon this dog dressed as Ghostface — scrambling to delete photos off the memory card to make room for this one — one of his owners made their stance clear, insisting that this is the best outfit we’d see all day. We’ll leave the decision up to you. 


If you couldn’t get enough of the parade of puppy alter-egos — along with the occasional cat — Washington Square Park is having their own version of the event this Sunday, Oct. 30, at noon.

Contact Lorena Campes at [email protected].

Contact Susan Behrends Valenzuela at [email protected].

Developed for web by Samson Tu.

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