America’s Best Dog Costume Contests for Halloween

Forget about the haunted houses and scary attractions this Halloween, dog costume contests deserve some attention too! After all, when it comes to costume contests, don’t the adults and children get all the attention? Furthermore, aren’t your furry friends a real part of your family? Get into the spirit by including your family pet for …

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Dog peeks out of an Elizabethan collar filled with fake Fruit Loop cereal as a Halloween costume

Forget about the haunted houses and scary attractions this Halloween, dog costume contests deserve some attention too! After all, when it comes to costume contests, don’t the adults and children get all the attention? Furthermore, aren’t your furry friends a real part of your family? Get into the spirit by including your family pet for some Halloween fun!

Bark in the Park

Sunken Garden Theater
3875 N. St. Mary’s St.
San Antonio, TX  78212

Date: Saturday, October 22, 2022
Time: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Bark in the Park is the last of two costume contests and expos hosted by the Thomas J. Henry law firm. The highlight of this event is the dog costume contest that may have the largest cash prizes in the country. For example, the first place winner’s prize is $1,000, followed by $750 and $500 for third place. In all, cash awards will be given out to the top six dog costumes. In addition, Bark in the Park will feature a kids zone, food truck, pet vendors and an adoption drive. Now in its eight year, Bark in the Park benefits local pet rescue organizations.

Doggone Halloween Parade

Downtown Crossing
9 Summer St.
Boston, MA  02110

Date: Saturday, October 29, 2022
Time: 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

If you happen to be in Boston the weekend before Halloween, stop by the Downtown Crossing shopping district. That’s because the Doggone Halloween Parade is returning to entertain onlookers and dog owners alike. The contest starts at 1 p.m. and prizes will be awarded to the “Scariest, Cutest, Best Dog & Human Duo and Best of Show. At this time, participating vendors and contest prizes have not been announced. However, you can probably expect a larger crowd than last year. If you have a well-behaved dog you would like to enter, you must complete the online registration form by 12: 30 p.m. October 29.

Halloween Pet Parade and Costume Contest at Faneuil Hall Marketplace

The annual Halloween Pet Parade and Costume at Faneuil Hall Marketplace will not take place this year.

Related: A Closer Look At The Godfrey Boston

Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest

Fort Greene Park
Dekalb and S Portland Aves.
Brooklyn, NY  11205

Date: Saturday, October 29, 2022
Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Celebrating its 24th year, the Great PUPkin is the largest dog costume contest in Brooklyn. A fun-filled event hosted by the Fort Greene Users and Pets Society, over 100 dogs will appear in costume. Set in its namesake Brooklyn neighborhood, the park’s contest is being held in front of the Prison Ship Matyrs’ Monument. Although it’s free to attend, there is a fee to register your dog for the costume contest. The last day to register is Monday, October 24. You can reach Fort Greene Park via subway to either the Dekalb Avenue or Nevins Street stations. Since last year was a virtual event, you can expect a great crowd for this year’s Great PUPkin.

Related: Best Dia De Los Muertos Celebrations In California

Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade

Marina Vista Park
5355 E. Eliot St.
Long Beach, CA  90803

Date: Sunday, October 30
Time: 2:30 p.m.

With more than 500 dogs in a variety of costumes, the Howl’oween Parade is likely LA’s largest. As a matter of fact, the parade says it’s the “world’s largest Halloween pet event”. Regardless of the numbers, this is a spectacular event and will draw a sizable crowd. Judging will be held while the dogs are parading and great prizes will be given out. In addition to the dog parade is a Halloween costume contest/parade for humans. Although the dog parade starts at 2:30 p.m., there will be other things to do earlier in the day. For instance, there will be a pet adoption clinic and vendor fair from 12: 30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is no fee to watch the parade or participate in the human Halloween costume parade. However, there is a fee to feature your dog in the parade and can be done online.

Related: Best Pet Friendly Hotels In San Francisco

Historic Irvington Halloween Dog Costume Contest

East Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN  46219
(317) 759-3378

Date: Saturday, October 29, 2022
Time: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (TBA)

Where else in Indianapolis to have a Halloween Festival than Historic Irvington. After all, this historic neighborhood is said to be the most haunted spot in the Hoosier State. What’s more, Irvington is named after Washington Irving, the author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. In case you need a refresher, the main character in that book was pursued by a headless horseman. Indeed, Irvington’s founders thought this spot resembled the village of Sleepy Hollow in Upstate New York. Although this popular Halloween Festival extends a week, mark your calendars for Saturday, October 29. That’s when the dog costume contest is being held in two different categories. In addition, dogs and their owners can also participate in the Marty Powell Costume Parade. If that’s not enough, there is also an online cat costume contest for your favorite felines.
Related: America’s Best Halloween Parades


700 Block of N. Second St.
Philadelphia, PA  19123
(267) 761-9434

Date: Saturday, October 29, 2022
Time: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Philadelphia’s largest dog costume contest returns October 29 and will be bigger and better than ever. While there is a $30 donation per pet to enter, all contestants will compete for prizes, including a $500 grand prize. Please note that the 8th annual Hound-O-Ween and Fall Fest is at a new location. The event is hosted by the Northern Liberties Business Improvement District and Street Tail Animal Rescue. In addition to the costume contest, there will be music and food and beverages for purchase from El Camino Real Restaurant. The proceeds from the contest benefits Street Tail Animal Rescue, whose mission is to help unwanted and homeless animals.

Related: Halloween 2022 at California Amusement Parks

Paws For A Cause

Little Marina Green Fitness Area
5517 Yacht Road
San Francisco, CA  94123

Date: Saturday, October 15, 2022
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

One of the Bay Area’s best dog costume contests is happening this weekend in San Francisco. With a scenic, bayside location, Paws for a Cause Dog Festival & Halloween Costume Contest is sure to be a dog friendly event. The costume contest are in four categories, with prizes given out to the winners. In addition to the dog costume contest are a number of activities to enjoy. For instance, the event will feature dog training tips from a dog coach, food vendors and a beer garden and face painting. That’s to say nothing of the yoga instruction with the San Francisco Bay as a back drop to kick off the morning.

Dog Costume Contest

The dog contest will be hosted by CBS Bay Area meteorologist and dog lover, Paul Heggen. General admission is $20 and can be purchased online.

Dog Fest Bay Area

If you can’t make it to the Little Marina Green, there is another local event the following weekend in Oakland. Dog Fest Bay Area is being held in Jack London Square, Saturday October 22. The event hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features a dog costume contest.

Streeterville Doggy and Kitty Halloween Party

220 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL  60611

Date: Saturday, October 29, 2022
Time: 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

This Halloween, Chicago won’t just be going to the dogs. In fact, if you’re a cat lover, there will be a contest for them as well, although it’s virtual. Above all, there will be a Doggy Parade with prizes given to the best dressed canines. Now in its 35th year, the Streeterville Doggy Halloween Party is presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art. Even if your dog doesn’t win a prize, event organizers say that “everyone is a wiener”. You can find the Halloween Party at MCA Chicago’s Sculpture Garden. Set in the Streeterville neighborhood just west of Lake Shore Park, MCA Chicago is among the world’s largest contemporary art venues.

Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Festival

Tompkins Square
East 10th St.
New York, NY  10009
(212) 639-9675

Date: Saturday, October 22, 2022
Time: 1 p.m.

In America’s largest city there are more than just a few dog costume parades and contests. On the other hand, the biggest will be held in Tompkins Square. Set in the Alphabet City section of the East Village, the event is so large that CNN calls it the “world’s largest dog costume parade”. With that in mind, you’ll see hundreds of dogs in Halloween costumes competing in several contest categories across two stages. For example, among the contests are Best Group Costume Humans and Dogs and Best Celebrity Themed Costume. Unfortunately, registration is already closed to enter your furry friend. However, you may be able to register your dog in another local costume contest like the Great Pupkin. 


Downtown & Starland District
Savannah, GA  31401

Dates: Saturday October 22 and Sunday October 23, 2022
Times: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

What could be better than enjoying dog costume contest in one of America’s most beautiful cities? That’s not to mention that this pet-friendly event will be packed with Halloween fun on not one, but two days. That’s to say nothing of a pre-event costume walk happening this weekend at Starland Yard. During Wag-O-Ween weekend, you can purchase a ticket for your dog for just $10. This ticket allows you to get a goodie bag, a wristband and places to take your dog trick-or-treating at local businesses. Details on the costume contest are not yet available but it’s going to be one of the largest in America. If that’s not enough, there will also be wiener dog races and an entry is just $5. Wag-O-Ween benefits local animal rescues, spay and neuter services, education and more.

About The Author

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget,, and He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012.