Hundreds of adorable pooches descended on New York City’s Tompkins Square Park yesterday for the 23rd annual Halloween Dog Parade.
This East Village costume party is a chance for canines to unleash their inner Lady Gaga and provides a massive photo op for dog-lovers. Dozens of black-clad Manhattanites jockey for shots of a Chihuahua dressed as a medieval knight or a Maltipoo pretending to be Robin Thicke (from that VMA performance with Miley Cyrus).
The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade tops my list of best NYC Halloween attractions and should not be missed! Scroll down for costumes from the 2013 parade.
Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke
This maltipoo was dressed as Robin Thicke during his raunchy VMA number with Miley Cyrus. The former teen star is represented by a Barbie Doll that twerked violently everytime the dog moved. Props for the doggie parents for going all-in on this costume!
A few dogs found inspiration in the recent series finale of “Breaking Bad”– by dressing as Walter White (above, on Radar the Great Dane) or decapitated drug dealer Tortuga (below, on a Border Collie mix). Notably, this was also a human trend at NY Comic Con earlier this month.
A Barbie doll played a role in another adorable costume: King Kong and the Empire State Bulding. A young boy dressed as the building, while Henry the Welsh Corgi went as the ape. There were a number of child/dog costumes this year, but this was the most intricate. As a photographer, I can tell you it is much easier to get the dogs to stand still than the kids!
The She Hulk
Fannie the Bulldog opted for a Comics-inspired look, allowing her owner to dye her hair green and squeeze her into a pair of disintegrating jean shorts. While other media outlets are identifying this costume as “The Hulk,” I can definitively report that this is a “She Hulk” costume. Fannie’s dad revealed, “She used to be a Chihuahua.”
I saw some familiar faces this year, including Eli the Chihuahua. He wowed the costume judges in 2010 dressed as an Egyptian pharaoh, and is back as the “rising phoenix” in a couples costume with his proud mama.
This creative Lobster Bake costume caused a media frenzy and charmed the judges, resulting in a prize. Essentially a float, it included two Chihuahuas– one dressed as a chef and one as a lobster.
Lobster dog costumes were a trend this year, although this was the most elaborate get-up.
The Little Mermaid
Reclining in a red wagon seems like a comfortable way to experience the parade, but Lilly the Golden Retriever was not having it. Dressed as the Little Mermaid in a red wig and glittery fish tail, she bounded from the wagon and sent her family scrambling to reassemble the costume. Still, she was downright adorable in this creative costume!
Toddlers and Tiaras
There was no shortage of cross-dressing at the Halloween Dog Parade this year. Reminiscent of NY Comic Con, I met male dogs dressed as princesses and female dogs in traditionally male costumes. This Pit Bull mix, Franklin, was a hot mess in his creative “Toddlers and Tiaras” costume. Within an hour of the parade’s start, he had lost a sock and mussed up his blond wig. But he was surprisingly comfortable wearing human diapers!
Some pooches maintain a Zen-like calm despite being smooshed into unwieldy costumes. Hanso the Brussels Griffon proudly wore a rainbow-hued piñata… although I’m not sure if he could walk without support in this creation.
I am a huge fan of couples costumes, including cross-species pairings. This “Wicked” costume (from the Broadway musical) was among the best dog-and-owner costumes. The Yorki, named Eleanor Ribgy, dressed as Glinda the good witch while her mommy donned green makeup to go as Elphaba.
Dancing with the Stars
Like many New Yorkers, these downtown pups embrace the fashion mantra, “form over function.” Betsy the Cockapoo wore human makeup (pink blish and blue eyeshadow) and a Calvin Klein bra for her “Dancing with the Stars” costume. When teased with a treat, Betsy even twirled for spectators. Her dad was part of the costume, and was planning to dance with Betsy for the judges.
A ghost is among the cheapest and easiest Halloween dog costumes to pull together last-minute. But it’s not necessarily the most comfortable. Vio the mixed breed was a good sport, even though his white sheet covered one eye completely.
ET – Who wore it better?
Another inexpensive but adorable dog costume is ET. It only requires a human in red sweatshirt, a bike with basket, and a dog in a blanket. And yet, there is something so nostalgic about this image that it draws smiling crowds. I spotted two ETs at this year’s parade.
Who wore it better– Lola the Maltese Shitsu mix (first photo) or Meli the French Bulldog (second photo)?
As a huge “Game of Thrones” fan, I enjoy medieval costumes– and this one blew me away. Pacino the Mini Pinscher wore an elaborate, chain-mail costume to portray Sir Prancealot. More of an armored unicorn than a Knight, Pacino was accompanied by his mom, who was also dressed in fantasy garb, and his dad, who served as the dog’s handler.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Group costumes were all the rage at the 2013 dog parade. The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” costume involved nine humans and three dogs representing the entire cast of the cartoon series. In this photo, Mango the Bichon Frise shows off her Shredder costume while her human pal dresses as a turtle.
The cutest dog award goes to Ragu the Dachshund, who dressed as a Hipster in rimmed glasses, a straw hat and a flannel shirt. Ragu was calm in the face of intense media scrutiny, although at one point his hat-and-glasses (taped together) fell and had to be reapplied by his mom.
Driven by Internet buzz around Z-grade horror flick “Sharknado” this year, shark costumes were all the rage. Mabel the English Cocker Spaniel looked smart in her Sharknado costume– a black vest covered in plastic sharks. She even twirled like a cyclone on demand.
This variation of the Sharknado costume featured Joe the Italian Greyhound dressed as a shark, and his humans dressed as shark attack victims. The guys’ costumes were appropriately drenched in blood.
McDonalds French Fries
Kenny the Corgi looked a bit sheepish in his homemade french fries costume. When paired for a photo op with a dog dressed as ketchup, growls ensued.
Disgraced NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has inspired many Halloween costumes this year– both human and canine. Coco the Dachshund dressed as Anthony Winderdog, complete with a hot dog costume, necktie and banner mentioning Weiner’s alter ego, Carlos Danger.
Wreck it Ralph
Disabilities don’t stop NYC dogs from participating in the East Village’s most creative Halloween event. Oscar the Dachshund may be paralyzed and in a walker, but he pulled off an intricate “Sugar Rush” costume from the movie “Wreck it Ralph.” The costume was fitted around his cart, and he eagerly scooted around the park.
Monster Under the Bed
Another disabled dog, Baxter the Yorkie, did not let recent surgery interfere with his costume. He dressed as a monster “under the bed”– and was in fact sitting under a crib filled with dolls.
Soap and Loofah
Among the more creative family costumes was this soap and loofah bath-time costume, featuring two dads in bathrobes, Tessie the Retriever dressed as soap and Taco the Pomeranian dressed as a loofah.
Hound of Anarchy Biker Gang
Not to be outdone, this doggie duo dressed as a motorcycle gang. Roscoe Roo, a Chihuahua and Cairn Terrier mix was the “rider” and Jax the German Shephard-Border Collie mix was the motorcycle. Their parents trained Roscoe Roo for a month until he comfortable sat on top of Jax. He looked regal in his “Hounds of Anarchy” leather jacket.
Joey Ramone at CBGB
This costume combined two trends from the 2013 dog parade: punk and classic East Village landmarks. Two Maltese Yorki mixes dressed as Joey Ramone and Iggy Pop at the iconic punk hangout CBGBs. It is gone, but not forgotten.
These male Rottweilers, Gizmo and Brinks, defied stereotypes by calmly displaying their frilly princess costumes. They did not glance away from their dad during the entire event.
Matching Human and Dog Costumes
There were so many cute matching costumes at the 2013 Halloween Dog Parade, it is hard to pick a favorite. Here are some of the cutest:
Brilla the Terrier mix dressed as Yoda and her owner dressed as a Jedi.
Pepper the Dachshund dressed as Slinky Dog while her parents dressed as Buzz and Woody from Toy Story.
Olive the French Bulldog and her owner dressed as giraffes.
Picasso the Lab mix and his human brother dressed in dragon costumes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sight as adorable as this baby waddling through the park in a fuzzy green costume!
Princess the Yorkie and her human dressed as a witch (surprisingly not a princess).
It’s hard to tell where Fozzie the Toy Poodle ends and her owner’s fur coat begins! Technically, Fozzie was dressed as a giraffe– but I was far more interested in this as a couples costume.
Buddy the Yorkie and his mom were poised in their Autumn leaves costumes.
This entire family dressed as Batman characters, including Apollo the French Bulldog dressed as Robin.
Some humans seemed to use the dog parade as an opportunity to dress in costume. Chanel the Shiba Walla looked smart in her (rather uninspired, store-bought) nurse costume, while her humans opted for creative DIY costumes (Dolly Parton and Robespierre).
OK, these doggie moms did not dress in costumes, but they clearly support their Chihuahuas’ love of cosplay. Lola the witch and Reptar the pumpkin looked quite comfortable in their costumes.