Happy Howl-o-Ween: Dog costume contest returning to Legacy Grove Park

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, October 25, 2023

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With a dog park present, Legacy Grove Park is always a welcoming place for furry friends.

On Saturday, Oct. 28, something extra special will occur.

The 2nd Annual Howl-o-Ween Fest, which drew 70 dogs to last year’s inaugural event, will take place from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the location of 1107 W. Lexington Avenue.

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“The response [last year] was so much more than what we could ever have imagined,” said Deborah Jackson, the executive director of Legacy Greenscapes. “The dogs were incredible. They all wore their costumes, which amazed us that they would keep them on that long. We, of course, decided we have to do it again!”

Several dog breeds were present at last year’s event, including the golden retriever, black labrador retriever, bull terrier, shih tzu, coonhound, St. Bernard, basset hound, pug, collie, and even mixed breeds.

Costumes included Little Red Riding Hood, a unicorn, a dinosaur, a cowboy, a scarecrow, a bat, a clown, a prisoner, a pirate, Simba from the film “The Lion King” and Woody from “Toy Story”.

For this year’s version, a committee was put together ahead of time featuring not only Legacy Greenscapes staff, board members, and more but also community members interested in promoting the event.

Sponsors could vie to support the event for $50, $100, or $500.

Individuals can access a link to register their dogs for the contest online, for which they will be entered into a raffle for a prize.

That link is: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScRnxtDx6Mfj1oFmphpXBxULeBk-CZ-4Yq9E6TsuP99_zvQkg/viewform

Alternatively, they may register when they arrive for the event at 9:00 a.m., with registration closing at 9:45.

This year will feature different categories: Best Pair/Group, Most Creative and Best in Show.

The dog voted Best in Show – based on creativity, originality, effort, and authenticity – has something special awaiting them.

“Our Best in Show dog will get their portrait posted on the wall at the Lucky Dog Cafe for the next year,” Jackson said. “Next year, when we have a new dog, they’ll get their portrait posted.”

While the costume contest is a highlight, more will get showcased, too.

Various vendors – some specifying items for dogs like bandanas and cleaning supplies – will be present, and attendees can indulge in snacks and coffees.

While the event is free, Legacy Greenscapes looks to continue finding ways to enhance its dog park even further.

“We are trying to add some features to the dog park that don’t currently exist. That would be some benches, some shade, and possibly some dog agility equipment,” Jackson added. “We know that our dog park patrons all have wanted those types of things, and so part of this event will be trying to raise funds for those items to add to the dog park.”

As much fun as adults have, the animals also find enjoyment.

“There were no fights [last year]…it just blows my mind that [many] dogs can be in the dog park and not have a single issue,” Jackson said. “They have the best time of their lives. It’s a good lesson in how we can play well together.”