South Park characters, princesses and Sonny and Cher all marched down the Promenade last Sunday, representing the neighborhood’s craftiest in costume making.
Sounds like just another Halloween parade, except for Cher sniffing Sonny’s butt, and the princess lifting her (or his?) leg to pee.
Yes, it was time once again for the fourth annual “Halloween Dog Parade Extravaganza” — and locals came out in droves to dress their canines in Polyester and taffeta and march them to the Hillside Dog Park.
Tour-book-toting tourists must have thought they’d wandered into Crazytown, watching the natives wrap their pug in tin foil (hot potato, get it?) or their Chow Chow in a Russian circus bear costume (that would be me, I’m afraid to say).
It may be under the guise of charity — the $25 registration fee goes to maintain the dog park, as well as a local non-profit — but something tells me that’s only the icing on the dog biscuit.
Tom Vasquez — owner of Perfect Paws on Hicks Street — first organized the parade three years ago to raise money for animals abandoned by Hurricane Katrina.
“We weren’t going to do it anymore, but then everyone asked over and over to keep it going,” said Vasquez, who wore drag, six-inch, hot pink platform shoes and a white, candy-covered beehive hairdo at this year’s parade.
“This year I’m dressed as Candy Dish, cause we dish, dish dish. Every year it just keeps getting better and better.”
Clearly, family takes many forms in the Heights.
“You don’t realize how far people will go to integrate their pets into their lives,” said Matthew Justus, a spectator. “And then something like this happens and you see just how serious they are. It’s unreal!”
Surprisingly, only a handful of the 100-plus two-legged attendees were kids. Which invites the question, why are all of these grown-ups playing dress-up?
Because this is a chance to participate in some of the fun all you breeders get to have all year long. Just because we may not have little kids, doesn’t mean we don’t like to dress up living beings in funny outfits and attract loads of attention.
“I can’t wait for next year,” said Karen, who has lived on Livingston Street for 15 years. “We’re already planning Baxter’s costume.”
OK, that’s a bit crazy — but who am I to say?
Juliana Bunim is a writer who lives in Brooklyn Heights.
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