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Rain on Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade Won’t Dampen the Day

Written by aslmad.yaz


The much-anticipated Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade was canceled, then ceremoniously un-canceled, this year. Slated to occur Saturday, Oct. 21, in New York City, the parade may not go off without a hitch. The weather forecast is currently calling for scattered showers. And this comes after what has already been several particularly wet weeks in the Big Apple. Despite that, organizers won’t let the news of stormy skies rain on their parade — at least not metaphorically. So, rain or shine, the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade will happen this weekend.

How Tompkins Square’s dog parade was nearly a no-go

While the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade has long been an event by which locals mark their calendars, this year’s festivities were nearly a no-go. Permitting issues, bureaucratic politics, and ongoing construction in Tompkins Square Park almost prevented the event from making it to its 33rd year.

Thankfully, community pressure applied to Councilwoman Carlina Rivera’s office, along with support from Mayor Eric Adams, saved the day. By establishing the first-ever official parade route and reducing the costs necessary to shut down the streets along it, the chances of what was briefly an uncertain event looked brighter.

Following that cheery update, organizers still faced the hurdle of raising an outstanding $5,000 to cover remaining costs. It was at this point when the founder of a local dog wellness startup reached out to sponsor the parade. Once organizer Joseph Borduin heard from Get Joy’s CEO, Tom Arrix, the show was back on. However, everything was left to be done at a record pace to ensure the event was up to par with past parades.

Rain, rain, go away

New York City has experienced unseasonably wet weather over the past couple of months. Interestingly enough, this weekend could be the seventh in a row in which city slickers need to pull out their galoshes just to make it down the block. As per Gothamist, Central Park received 14.25 inches of rain last month. That total is the greatest amount on record for “any September since 1883.”

Troublingly, the deluge won’t let up anytime soon, according to New York Metro Weather. Their Thursday evening forecast is predicting more precipitation will begin to fall on Friday, continuing into the early hours of Saturday. However, there is a chance Saturday afternoon — when the Tompkins Square dog parade is scheduled to start — may just get a break from the rain. Here’s to hoping.

It may rain on the Tompkins Square parade, but the weather won’t dampen the day

Dogs in costumes attend the 27th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in Tompkins Square Park on October 21, 2017 in New York City, when there was no rain in the forecast.
(Photo Credit: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images)

Sprinkles or sunshine, the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade will celebrate costumed pups and their pet parents. That said, the weather may make it harder to see the elaborate get-ups pooches and their people are donning. That’ll be especially true if they’re covered by ponchos and sheets of plastic. And, given the forecast, Borduin has already announced that the shapeless raincoats will be available for parade participants.

The rain may also present difficulties in getting to Tompkins Square if subways are slow and streets are flooded. Or, perhaps, the city’s existing infrastructure will meet the moment. Either way, only time will tell.

Shortened timeline precipitates parade’s other logistical changes

Probable precipitation isn’t the only thing precipitating logistical changes ahead of Saturday’s parade. At least prior to the news that the weather may be a bit wetter this year, event attendance was expected to exceed that of previous years. Moreover, this is the first time there will be an official parade route in addition to the costume contest. Concurrently, the bulk of Tompkins Square Park closed for construction. As a result, organizers realized that the limited space that will be utilized for the official judging and award announcements might exceed capacity.

Accordingly, wristbands are being offered to attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. 600 of them will be disseminated on Saturday, prior to the event. It’s suggested that those wishing to parade their paw-fect pirates, pint-sized popes, and petite princess pooches arrive no later than noon. Plus, judges will begin selecting pets for the costume competition starting at that time.

Participants can pick up their very own bracelets at a table located at 13th Street and Avenue B. In fact, this is the same location from whence the parade will begin at 1 p.m.

Come one, come all

If people wish to simply watch the event without the intention of entering their pup or crossing into the park, no wristband is necessary. Organizers have made clear that the parade portion of the free event will be open to all. Albeit, spectators should line the parade route prior to 12:30 p.m. if they wish to enjoy a tail-wagging good time. Extending down Avenue B from 12th to 7th Streets, the inaugural parade will surely be a feast for the imagination.

However, festivities following the parade are a bit more exclusive this year. At 2 p.m., judges are expected to perform the very difficult task of deciding between the 40 canines who advance to the finalist round of the costume contest. In order to have adequate space for that all-important work, attendance within the park will be limited. Only those with the golden ticket —or rather, wristband — will be permitted entrance.

Event has already weathered the worst of it

The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade has arguably faced worse than the threat of a little rain. After uncertainty surrounding the future of the event, organizers and city-dwelling dog lovers came together to weather the metaphorical storm.

Costume-clad canines and the people coming to delight in their sight may very well end up getting soaked this Saturday. However, the perpetuation of the parade in spite of the precipitation is simply more proof of the resilience of both the event and its faithful organizers.

Borduin, in an interview with Gothamist, hinted at that very point. Speaking on the challenges encountered this season, he remarked, “I just hope everyone understands all of the obstacles we had to deal with this year to put something together.” Continuing, the organizer shared, “And even with all those obstacles, I still feel like we are going to have an amazing parade on the streets of the city.”

We couldn’t agree more. How could anyone be unhappy while watching a Schnoodle cosplay a superhero? What person could avoid smiling at a Golden Retriever pretending to be a sweet but spooky ghost? Honestly, it’s a frightful, nightmarish thought. And, quite frankly, we’re not here to entertain it.


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