The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade is a Halloween celebration, costume parade and competition…for, well, dogs and their parents. Yep, you read that right. Through 2017, the annual event was held at Tompkins Square Park, for which it is named. However, due to alleged insurance and overcrowding issues back in 2018, the venue is now the East River Park Amphitheater. Contestants have the opportunity to earn bragging rights and compete for thousands of dollars in prizes.
Twenty-eight years ago, the inaugural Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade began as a small, casual, low-key event held by neighborhood locals. It wasn’t just a Halloween celebration, though, it was also the after-party for a hard-fought community victory: the successful launch of the city’s first dog run. From there, word spread and the event grew in popularity every year thereafter. The number of participants (now in the hundreds), along with spectators (now in the thousands), have markedly increased year after year.
Nothing is off-limits at the Tompkins Square Dog Parade. You’ll see dogs and their owners dress up as pop culture icons, historical figures, politicians and much, much more. So visit one the year’s premier local Halloween events and get your phones and cameras ready to capture this one-of-a-kind New York City event.
You can find more information about the parade and competition here.
You can also get a bird’s-eye view of the parade from our visits in 2018 here.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated at various locations throughout the five boroughs. But easily the most festive Lunar New Year parade in New York City can be found in Chinatown. This year’s parade is on February 17th.
It’s the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese Zodiac, so dress in your most auspicious reds and make your way out to Mott Street and Canal Street in Lower Manhattan to get in on all the festivities. There will be impressive floats, marching bands, lion dance troupes, dancers and, of course, those colorful confetti sticks popping off along the parade route. Just make sure to get there early for the best vantage, it can get mighty crowded.
You can find more information on the parade, including the complete route, and other Chinatown celebrations here.
You can get a birdseye view of the event from our coverage of 2018’s Year of the Dragon here.
Tradition is one of those things I found stifling when I was younger, something I desperately needed to break free of. Being of mixed race meant having two sets of rules to adhere to. It meant being saddled by two laborious sets of obligations. I couldn’t wait until I didn’t have to be somewhere I didn’t want to be–I was young and had way cooler things to do, after all. (Cue the eye roll here.) But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a renewed understanding and appreciation for it. Community becomes less about conforming and more about belonging.
Continue reading Chasing The Dragon: How To Watch The Lunar New Year Parade in New York City
You could spend every weekend doing something completely different in New York City and never run out of things to do. But there are certain events that hit can’t-miss status for us. Activities that are permanently etched into our calendars. Occasions that take precedence over anything else going on in the city that day. The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade is one of those special cases.
Continue reading Every Dog Has Its Day: Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade
Throngs of visitors come to New York City every year to watch the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s such a popular event that hotel rooms along the route have the equivalent of “surge pricing” and still manage to sell out way in advance. That kind of fervor can only mean one thing: New Yorkers will stay very, very far away from it.
Continue reading Making a Splash: The Coney Island Mermaid Parade
When people find out how long Justin and I have been married, many of them inevitably ask if we have kids. We do not. I don’t bemoan that circumstance except for once a year: at Halloween. Because of this. I mean, come on. Continue reading Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade
“I don’t think there is a life in the mundane 9-to-5 hypocrisy. That’s not living. That’s just part of the Matrix. And drag is punk rock, because it is not part of the Matrix. It is not following any rules of societal standards. Boy, girl, black, white, Catholic, Jew, Muslim. It’s none of that. We shape-shift. We can do whatever we want.” – RuPaul
While we’d like to encourage you to be happy with who you are, we’d also like to embolden you to be anyone you want to be. That may involve introspection and ambition, or it may simply involve putting on a costume when the occasion allows it. There’s a boldness to the business of getting dressed up and standing in the spotlight. Some New Yorkers get up and do it every day, while others wait for an instance like the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival to get their shape-shift on. Continue reading Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival