For 26 years, Tompkins Square Park in New York City has been hosting an annual Halloween Dog Parade. Yes, it’s the cutest thing ever—but it’s also philanthropic.
In the ‘80s, there was a large-scale effort to rejuvenate the ramshackle Tompkins Square Park. The NYC Parks Department approved a dog run, but required that it be run by the community—not the city. Local dog owners volunteered and raised money for the run, eventually opening its doggie doors in 1990.
Since its inception, the run has become something of a pooch institution: it offers separate areas for big dogs and small dogs, and features first-class amenities such as swimming pools, a tree deck, picnic tables, and bathing areas.
The Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade began as a fundraiser to help maintain the run, but it has since swelled to the largest dog Halloween parade in the world, with an annual attendance of over 400 dogs and thousands of spectators. With a runway competition, Best In Show award, and thousands of dollars in prizes at stake, the event has become more elaborate than most human Halloween parties (except for maybe Heidi Klum’s).
This year’s Best in Show winner was “Sweet Shop”:
And here are some of our other favorites:
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