We think everyone can agree, the only Halloween costume contest that truly matters is the one that involves dressed up canines. That’s why this summer, many were saddened by the sudden announcement that the beloved NYC Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade, one of the biggest in the country, was cancelled after nearly three decades. But it was hard to believe that the dedicated NYC dog park community wouldn’t pull off a last minute save, and indeed they did just that.
Longtime organizer and dog park volunteer Garrett Rosso explained on the event’s Facebook page in August that, “The Parks Department is asking for a large insurance and liability policy in order to hold the event this year—and we simply don’t have the funds or sponsor willing to provide it.”
So a local grassroots civic organization called Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) stepped up, and the dog parade organizers essentially raised money in the community and then paid GOLES for the insurance policy. “So GOLES was not paying any money of their own, but they are the one holding the personal risk,” Rosso explained.
The only difference is that the location has been moved to a larger venue at the East River Park and ESPN will be broadcasting the parade, as Katie Nolan takes on hosting duties. ESPN has also donated $10,000 to the City Parks Foundation, which will go to supporting the Tompkins Square Park Dog Run.
We’re glad to hear the parade is back on and we can’t wait to see all of the creative canine costumes this year! Here’s a few of our favorites from previous years!