Costumed dogs promenaded through Tompkins Square Park once again this past Saturday in the 22nd Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. This year’s hot costume themes were the presidential race—including a vengeful Seamus Romney and an unemployed Big Bird—as well as space exploration and bondage bestseller 50 Shades of Gray. A woeful corgi firetruck, spunky Ms. Pacman, and dramatically posturing bat-dog were all making the rounds, as was a frightening yet cuddly Bane from The Dark Knight—which amounted to more cognitive dissonance than I’d bargained for in a puppy parade.
Throughout the usual mayhem of photographers I was on the lookout for Gracie the rescue pug, who dominated the 2010 parade as Scarlett O’Hara. She was hard to miss. Dolled up as Evita in a diaphanous gown, jeweled necklace, and blonde wig, she perched on a podium before three cardboard microphones while her owner stood by holding a miniature boombox that wailed “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.”
It was no surprise that Gracie took first place again this year. Surveying the crowd zen-like indifference, pink tongue in perma-flop, she handles the leading lady role with grande dame aplomb. As her owner mentioned, Gracie doesn’t like to move much, so it’s pretty easy to put a costume on her.
So start with a sedentary pug, add a tragic heroine, and apply some costume design wizardry and you have a formidable Halloween Dog Parade team. Take note, people.