Things looked very hairy for the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade back in August, when the event’s founder, Garrett Rosso, announced that permitting and insurance issues had caused him to cancel the event. Today, however, City Council member Carlina Rivera announced that the annual catwalk of costumed canines, which brings an estimated 500 dogs and 25,000 dog lovers to the park, is back on for Oct. 28 at 3pm, though it’ll be at a new location.
With the backing of GOLES, the organizers were able to resolve that issue, but because the fix came at the last minute, the Parks Department was only able to offer East River Park as a location, Nieves said. “We didn’t have enough time to plan for all the safety precautions we had to take [in Tompkins Square Park].”
Nieves, who owns five chihuauas, is happy with the new location, but hopes it’ll be temporary. “It has an amphitheater and it has benches where people can sit; it’s very accommodating, the space is very open and large, it has a great view. It’s really nice. But, of course, we want to bring [the parade] back here [to Tompkins] because it’s a community oriented event and this is its foundation, this is where it started, this is where it has to continue.”
“It’s wonderful,” Rosso said of the last-minute solution. “We all want [the parade] back in the East Village.” However, Rosso expressed concerns about the park’s relatively remote location and doubted whether as many local residents would trek over to the waterfront park. He said he would work to make sure it returned to Tompkins next year.
This year’s parade won’t feature the cash prizes of years past, but Nieves assured us there’d be trophies and plaques for the best of the masked mutts.