The Great PUPkin’s Greatest Hits: Pooches, Puns, And Costumes Make Crowds Howl In Fort Greene

18th Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest
Photo by Amy Holiday / BKLYNER

A grumpy bulldog dressed as a Lego, a Pomeranian turned-milkman and a basset hound dressed as a chainsaw were some of the crowd favorites at the 18th Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest in Fort Greene Park.

On Saturday, October 29, thousands of spectators and hundreds of dogs gathered in the park for what was an Instagrammers-delight and a hilarious afternoon.

18th Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest
Photo by Amy Holiday / BKLYNER

The costumes ranged from topical to serious, and from spooky to classic. A mutt dressed with a sombrero and a sign that said “I can dig under the wall” was the “bad hombre” and another with its head in a traffic cone was “Myrtle Avenue Construction.”

There was “Shark Week” – six humans and a dog, each representing a different day – and there was “Carroll Gardens” – a couple with their dogs dressed as bumble bees, a baby as a garden gnome and a stroller covered in fake grass.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 2016 election appeared mostly in pun-related costumes. Although there were no Trumps or Clinton-canines, there was “Sunny for President 2016” a patriotic beagle who howled into the microphone. He was running on the “hound ticket.”

18th Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest
Photo by Amy Holiday / BKLYNER

There were 135 competing dogs this year, who were introduced one by one, to a clapping, laughing, and picture-snapping crowd. The dogs and their owners walked across the stage and in front of a four-person judging panel which included Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James. The other judges were John Bingaman from Doggie Day Trips, Elizabeth Amorose from Thinkso and Lifin Yeh from Who’s Your Doggy?

18th Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest
Photo by Amy Holiday / BKLYNER

Some contestants strutted and others performed. The “Shrink-o-matic” group came dressed as scientists with a large cardboard contraption, wrapped in foil and covered with pseudo-knobs and buttons.

On stage, into the tube walked a large black dog and seconds later, out shot a perky small black dog. When the group was called on stage to claim their award at the end, the crowds cheered “Shrink it again!”

18th Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest
Photo by Amy Holiday / BKLYNER

After all the pooches paraded, the judges awarded 10 honorable mentions and the crowd helped, through raucous applause, select the top winner.

First place went to “Chester the llama dog.” His parents dressed the nine-year-old Yorkshire terrier as the head of llama, and wheeled a brown, furry mass of the body around on a wagon.

18th Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest
Photo by Amy Holiday / BKLYNER

Second place went to the Furrestree, basset hounds Chris and Minnie, dressed as a log and chainsaw.

Third place went to the “Milkman Joke,” dogs Nike and Tokyo and owners Rachel Castro and Grayson, who were dressed as a Brooklyn milk delivery team.

18th Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest
Photo by Amy Holiday / BKLYNER

The Great PUPkin is in the books for 2016. As far as whether or not Sunny will win the Presidency, well, we’ll have to wait another week to find out.

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Amy Holiday

Amy Holiday is a writer who lives in Park Slope. She works in education and is dazzled by all things Brooklyn.

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