Coney Island has gone to the dogs.
On Sunday, October 11, over 100 furry, four-legged friends took to the Boardwalk near Luna Park to strut their spooky, funny or wacky stuff.
Taking advantage of the only day when dogs are allowed to enter the park, local dog owners and canine lovers alike embraced the opportunity to walk among the dressed-up pooches for the day.
Morgan Avila, owner of one of the day’s pretty well-known participants—Mr. America, a five-year-old Leonberger dog who’s starred in films and off-Broadway plays like “The Equalizer,” “Annie,” “Oliver Twist,” “Peter Pan,” a “Christmas Carol” and more—took advantage of the day’s festivities by dressing up alongside her pooch in a patriotic get-up.
“We have a great time,” said Avila. “We’ve done this for many, many years and Mr. America is known by everybody. He’s also an AKC champion—he travels around the country competing, he was in Westminster and he’s a very sweet, and very smart dog. This is the only day that Luna Parks allows dogs so we are taking advantage of it.”
Alessia Resta, another festive pooch owner, dressed up alongside her dog as well, donning a mushroom hat alongside her Shih Tzu, Pachino, which was dressed as a caterpillar.
“We just love dressing him up and it’s really fun to get together and be creative and to come up with funny costumes,” Resta said. “He just wears it and doesn’t even know what’s happening. He loves everyone looking at him and if he wins today he’s going to get some Nathan’s French fries.”
This year’s Best of Show winners were Cruz, Sammy and Harley—French Bulldogs dressed at Pebbles, Dino and Fred Flintstone—and they received a six month subscription to Bark Box, a monthly delivery of surprise treats and toys tailored specifically to each dog, while their owners received four unlimited ride wristbands for the park.
Biggie, a teacup Yorkie dressed as a taco, was deemed the Cutest, while Most Original costume went to a pooch dressed as viral YouTube sensation, Pizza Rat. A dog dressed as the Mad Hatter took home the award for Mr. Congeniality while the audience agreed that Shaggy was the clear winner for Audience Choice.
Each of these runners-up received a gift basket sponsored by TruFoods and two unlimited ride wristbands.