A time-honored Halloween tradition in New York City is hanging up its leash for the foreseeable future.
The Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade has been a staple in Manhattan’s Halloween event lineup for 32 years, bringing out pets decked out in their finest costumes for a chance to win prizes. This year, however, the parade will not be happening.
In a post on Instagram, Tompkins Square Park Dog Run stated “Despite our best efforts to keep the parade going, with ongoing building work in both our local parks there was just no way to hold the parade this year.” The words “PARADE HAS BEEN CANCELLED FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE” have been posted on the Tompkins Square Park Dog Run website.
In an interview with Gothamist, Joseph Borduin, who organizes the parade, stated that due to construction that would have pushed the parade to the street, he initially planned on canceling the parade back in the spring. According to Borduin (who is a volunteer), this would have caused him to apply for street closures from the city’s Street Activity Permit Office, which charged him $5,000 last year to close down one block — this year, the park would have been looking at $50,000 in permitting and insurance costs.
“I thank everyone for their support and offers to help contribute to pay for the fees associated with our parade. The main issue is we don’t have permission to do a parade in the first place,” said Borduin in a statement to amNewYork Metro. “We kept moving forward with planning under false pretenses that it wouldn’t be an issue but with 3 weeks remaining until showtime it still was and we can’t continue to move forward without it.”
The park’s Instagram statement noted that the parade is (and has always been) a fundraiser for the dog run, and directed those who wish to donate to support the dog run to tompkinssquaredogrun.com/support.
Updated at 1:45 p.m. on Sept. 28.