There’s always something new going on in New York City, so it takes a special event to keep the locals coming back again and again. The Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade is just such an event. Attending the parade has become one of our favorite Halloween rituals, so we were pretty brokenhearted to hear it had been canceled. Long story short, the event had become so popular that the park was requiring insurance to cover its many attendees, and the financial burden was just too great to bear.
Then, in swooped Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) and an unlikely hero: ESPN. ESPN not only broadcast the parade with Katie Nolan as host, but also donated $10,000 to the City Parks Foundation. And just like that, the parade was magically back on, just in a new home. This year’s parade landed at the East River Park Amphitheater, which is nestled between FDR Drive and the East River, with sweeping views of Brooklyn further beyond.
As in previous years, we were blown away by the creativity of the costumes and range of themes from individual pets to complex family ensembles. Story time characters are evergreen favorites, from classic fairy tales to children’s book classics:
We might be a little biased with this one 😉
Some video game characters came to life:
And of course, there had to be an (adorable) nightmare or two:
We always recommend you eat before you arrive, or you might get hungry:
There’s art, music and religion:
Current events always make their way there:
But not-so-current characters show up too:
And this year we had some llama drama:
So if you’re a local who has never attended the parade, it’s time to add it to your calendar. And if you’re thinking of visiting the city, consider planning a trip this time of year. Any dog lover–or any human being, for that matter–will find a festive atmosphere and kindred spirits at the Tompkins Square Park Dog Parade. And that means no one will judge you when let out a squeal of delight, break out your dog talk voice, and completely fill your camera roll.
All Instagram accounts have been tagged where available, please let us know if we missed one! Clicking on the photos will take you directly to the attached Instagram accounts so you can stalk these cuties online. And you can check out our coverage of the 2017 and 2016 parades for more fun doggie pics.
– L. & J.