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Arts & Entertainment

22nd Annual Fall Harvest Festival in Bay Ridge Lets the Dogs Out, Starts the Halloween Fun

The Narrows Botanical Garden brought a taste of Halloween to Bay Ridge with its 22nd Annual Fall Harvest Festival.

The fun-filled free event was held this year on Sunday, October 7.

Attendees enjoyed a craft fair with handmade items by local artists, while the youngsters could paint their very own pumpkin thanks to 3 Guys from Brooklyn. There were also native plant garden tours, and music and dance featuring Don Coy and the Al ‘e’ Mo Square Dancers.

The highlight of the day for many attendees was the festival’s annual Great Canine Costume Contest, with local residents dressing up their beloved pooches hoping to win prizes that included gift cards and baskets.

Mary Jo Tobin, one of the organizers and emcees for the dog contest, discussed how the day went.

“We all had a good time. It was July-like weather,” she said. “We didn’t have as many people as we usually do because it was Columbus Day weekend and I think more and more people are starting to go away for that, but we still had a great day. People put a lot of thought into the costumes.”

“It’s our annual event that allows pet owners to share their love and pride in their animals and brings the community together to show important the human-pet bond is,” added event coordinator Stella Blanca Panzarino. “We treat them as family.”

Some of the day’s winners included Jennifer and her dog Ziggy. “She was dressed as a geisha girl and the Chihuahua was dressed as sushi,” said Panzarino. “Best homemade creative costume went to Molly who dressed as the Up House dog from the movie ‘Up.’”

The crowd favorite, who received honorable mention, was Winston the lion.  “He was carried about by his owner until he won; then he started to prance,” Panzarino added. “The winner for best in show was Jessie and Athena who were matching unicorns.

The best traditional costume went to pup Ike Turner who dressed as Spider-Dog.

“All the dogs and owners looked fantastic. They are all champions,” she said.

The rest of the festival was also a big hit.

“I think it’s one of the things that makes Bay Ridge great,” said Tobin. “It’s something that people look forward to. It was still a great turnout of people. I think it’s a great event that people look forward to. It’s one of the things that makes the neighborhood special.”

“I love coming to this event and capturing all the dogs and their cool costumes,” added attendee and photographer Mike Beitchman.

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