I was a judge at the Tompkins Square Park Dog Halloween Parade
Tricked-out dogs compete for treats at the 18th annual Tompkins Square Park dog Halloween Parade. (Photos/ AP, Getty Images)
How do you choose a winner from the wriggling, barking sea of super-cute costumed canines that show up each year for the premier East Village event of the year?
Im talking, of course, about the Tompkins Square Park Dog Halloween Parade, which attracted more than 400 pups to its 18th annual contest on Sunday. And after participating as a judge for the first time, I can attest that picking the prize-winning pooches is tough work. [Parade PHOTOS here]
There are some unwritten rules that govern the choices and help narrow down the field of four-legged bugs, bats, hot dogs and princesses. Crafty (better yet, clever!) homemade costumes always take top honors.
Your pug might make the cutest honey bee this side of Avenue A, but if the costume is store-bought, Fuggedaboutit! Your dog ain't taking home a title.I mean - its the Village, birthplace of many an artistic movement, so creativity is a requirement. And anything of the zeitgeist goes over well too for instance the Joe the Plumber dog, whose owner hand-sewed a prosthetic butt crack from a nylon stocking.
Kudos too to these costumes: Ahab and his yellow Lab Moby Dick, Elliot with his Boston Terrier E.T. in a bike basket, Oscar the Grouch (we hope that green hairspray was dog-safe!), Sandy and her Danny Zucco dog, the living scene from the Dogs Playing Poker painting and the Dachshund damsel in distress playing the part of Rapunzel.
If you couldnt be there to see the dogs, thats a shame, but you can see their photos [HERE].