Rumor has it a naked Justin Bieber, in dog form, will be gracing the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade, which will take place noon to 3 p.m. Saturday in Tompkins Square Park.
This will be the 25th anniversary of the parade, an annual event that drew thousands last year, and has more than 13,000 people “attending” this year, according to the parade’s Facebook event.
CNN has called it “the largest dog costume parade in the world.”
“It’s the Woodstock for dogs,” said Garrett Rosso, a volunteer manager of the dog park, who was walking his dogs while being interviewed for this article.
Hundreds of dogs and their owners will compete in multiple rounds of judging. Rosso advised spectators to arrive promptly, as the first round is typically the hardest and most impressive.
“People come with huge floats,” Rosso said. “Last year somebody built a replica of the Empire State Building that was big enough for people to climb, and the dog sat on the top dressed as King Kong.”
The prizes this year are nothing to scoff at. The dog and owner who win “Best in Show” will receive an Apple Watch. Two lucky first place winners will each receive tickets to the Broadway show “Finding Neverland” and a $100 gift card for Purina dog food (Purina Beggin’ is a sponsor).
The parade that draws thousands of people from all corners of NYC and beyond started as a small tradition among dog enthusiasts.
“It was Halloween and people and dogs were showing up at the dog run in costumes, and we were like, we have to give somebody a prize,” Rosso said.
Dog runs in NYC are managed and paid for by the community. They are the only features of public parks that are not funded by the city.
Organizers suggest donating $5, so that the Tompkins Square dog run, the first dog run in the city, can continue to function for years to come.