Tompkins Square Dog Parade Draws Thousands After Near-Cancellation
After almost being canceled because of financial constraints, about 15,000 people and more than 600 pups turned out for the annual parade on Saturday
Despite the gray skies and light drizzle, costumed dogs strutted along for the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade on Saturday as they have for more than three decades.
The dogs came on floats, leashes and in their owners’ arms — but they almost didn’t come at all.
Organizers of the East Village event nearly canceled it this year after outgrowing their location in Tompkins Square.
What started as a small gathering of friends for Halloween has ballooned into a cornerstone of New York City’s spooky season, drawing thousands of spectators to the East Village.
To stage the parade and costume competition, organizers needed to have the streets blocked off, which would have costs thousands of dollars in permits and fees, they said.
Organizers announced the cancellation last month, sparking backlash on social media before help stepped in.
The event was revived with assistance from the office of Mayor Eric Adams, which coordinated with multiple agencies to secure the proper permits and bring down costs.
“We saw a ton of social posts and comments about how it was canceled, and we really saw how meaningful it was to people.
Joseph Borduin, who has run the parade as a volunteer for the past four years, said that he always had aspirations of it becoming an official city parade, but that he didn’t know it would happen so soon.