BY BOB KRASNER
A beautiful fall day, a fabulous setting and dogs in costume — what a perfect way to lift your spirits these days.
In lieu of their traditional fundraising Harvest Festival, which was cancelled due to rain, the Elizabeth Street Garden in Nolita threw its first Pet Parade on Halloween. Overseen by MC’s Elise Fife and the garden’s executive director Joseph Reiver, more than 50 dogs made their way down the runway, competing for prizes donated by local vendors such as the Polka Dog Bakery, Wine Therapy, La Colombe, McNally Jackson, Whiskers Holistic Pet Care and Happy Paws, among others.
Sharks, spiders, superheroes and sea serpents strutted past the judges, but Sonia Price led the pack with her chihuahuas Jugui and Lola — as a sunflower and a bee — took first prize.
Reiver, who noted the invaluable assistance of organizers Kathy Brunner and Patricia Squillari, said that the day “went wonderfully!” He continued, “People were so excited about it, they want to make it an annual tradition.”
However, that may not be possible if the city gets its way. Currently, the garden is waging an existential legal battle against the city to stay where they are. Despite the availability of a larger, undeveloped city owned lot nearby, there are plans to tear up the garden and put up a building that would be a combo of residential and luxury retail.
“We raised some money today, but we have another hearing coming up in November and we need to raise as much as possible,” Reiver explained. ” We need this kind of open space more than ever.”
More information about the garden and ways to support its existence at elizabethstreetgarden.com.