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Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade
Photograph: Lauren SpinelliTompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

Confessions of a doggie costume judge (with photos)

By Jaz Joyner

On Saturday, Time Out Kids Editor Allie Early and I joined 4 other judges at this year's Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade and we had a hell (howl?) of a good time. We arrived about an hour before the show began, and contestants were already waiting in line, fully styled from snout to paw. To be honest, I'd already noted some favorites before the show began on the bright red paper we were given. Throughout the show, I'd jot down the number of my top picks, with a short description of them so I wouldn't forget. Now, as a dog lover, I found every single furry contestant to be so freakin' cute. I wish everyone could have a prize. And deciding who wins is a tough job! Ok, air flight controller might be up there, but but doggie parade judge? Super close second. Anyway, some looks were adorable but once I'd learn they were store-bought I'd lose interest. When it came to my judging criteria, the more creative and handmade the costume, the better. Also, the costumes I loved most had major personality on the runway. Yes, the costume itself is technically most important, but pizazz on the runway definitely plays a significant role. There was one guy whose pup was dressed as the bad guy Jacobim from Zoolander who looked great, but it was the infamous Zoolander walk by the owner, while holding his dog, that made me want to give him all the prizes. He ended up winning an Honorable Mention. There were two rounds of winners with two chances for First Place. After each hour-long round we'd spend ten stressful minutes rallying our scores. We'd pick the top 5 and then whichever costumes didn't make that list would go in our honorable mention. Surprisingly, we were all on a pretty similar page when it came to our top five, because the stand outs really made themselves known.

In the end, we chose Titanic for Best of Show because not only did these folks have an elaborate storyline including their three pups (named Rose, Jack and Rose's ex fiance Cal), they also took the time to create actual Titanic invitations that they handed to us after their runway walk. Commitment is key at this dog-centric fashion show and yes, we judges recognized a dedicated look!  From the "basic bitch" equipped with her own "pup"kin spice latte, to real life "Barking Bad,"  this show surely kept everyone on their paws...I mean toes. There was even a cat dressed up as a dog dressed up as a cat in a taco costume...because why the meow not? But I won't just tell you, I'll show you too! Check out some of my personal favorite costumes, as told by Instagram.



Nailed it. #halloweendogparade

A photo posted by Amy Keefe (@aekeefe) on

Basic bitches be like...


A photo posted by Eleanor (@bloomsdayreport) on

This fella yawned several times throughout. Maybe have been the fumes from the "Rawr" V? Get it? RV for dog? Jokes.

See the resemblance? It's Kim Kar"dog"sian, guys. Duh. She even brought her endless supply of selfies from her upcoming book featuring hundreds and hundreds of photos of non other than...herself.



A photo posted by Ian Schiffer (@schiffdogg) on

Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt in Night of the Museums basically stole my heart. This little guy sat calmly on his "horse" the entire time. What a great way to honor the late comedian.

Oh, just the cutest little snitch you'll ever see chillin' with Harry Potter before a game of quidditch.



A photo posted by Anthony Di Mieri (@anthonydimieri) on




A photo posted by Olivia Rose (@thebigoh) on

What if one of the Three Amigos really were a dog? Wouldn't that be dogtastic? By the way, this couple made these costumes by hand!


Enzo going for the toosh sniff. #halloweendogparade

A photo posted by Vanessa (@anessava) on

Dun nun nun nun nun nun nun nun...BAT DOG!


Titanic. 2014 East Village Howl-O-Ween Dog Parade. #Bestinshow

A photo posted by Julie Bolcer (@juliebolcer) on

Titanic won Best in Show and they definitely deserved it! The two women and their dogs have entered the contest for many years, but they told us this is the first year they've won anything. Woof.


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