Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Festival Gets a Formal Parade Route

NEW YORK CITY—After facing cancellation, the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade is back in business!

News broke out last week that the 33rd annual iteration of the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade would be canceled.

Organizers were forced to call off this year's festival due to construction, bureaucratic red tape, and overwhelming fees.

The event is back on thanks to a new sponsor and other local government officials.

Due to the public outcry, Mayor Eric Adams's office lent a helping hand to coordinate with several agencies and ensure proper permits.

Get Joy, a dog wellness and food company, stepped in as a sponsor. They will shoulder all expenses, such as permit fees and insurance.

Joseph Borduin, the one who has run the parade as a volunteer for the past four years, said: “This means the world, I thought this only happened in movies,

“The outpouring of support from across the entire United States has been phenomenal,” he added.

Clear off your schedule for the annual parade happening on Saturday, October 21, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

To think that this started as a small gathering among friends has now blown up into a must-see of New York City's Halloween season, only luring more and more spectators to the East Village.

Organizers say a formal route through the East Village was crucial to accommodate the increasing attendance and interest.

For the first time, the parade will have an official route. Parade participants will meet at 14th Street and Avenue B to Seventh Street, with the judging still in Tompkins Square Park.

Mr. Borduin said he had been wanting and planning this kind of growth in the festival, especially since last year when thousands of people tried to cram into the small park.

However, the expansion plan hit several bumps over the past year.

Mr. Borduin decided to call the parade off when he found out last week that he was still expected to pay the $45,000 needed for permits, $10,000 for a stage, and a $6,000 fee for the parks department.

Fortunately, the mayor's office came to the rescue. The city coordinated the parade with its Open Streets program and greatly cut the permitting bill down to $5,000.

Mr. Borduin said that the office of Councilwoman Carlina Rivera “really made it clear to the city that this event supports the city park.”

“Our goal is always for New Yorkers to enjoy celebrations safely,” a spokeswoman for City Hall stated. “We look forward to seeing this iconic event goes on as scheduled.”

Securing a sponsorship was also crucial for Mr. Borduin, and luckily, he found that in Tom Arrix, the founder of Get Joy, who reached out to help.

“Any time a dog’s joy is threatened we want to help,” Mr. Arrix said in a statement.

Councilwoman Rivera said she understood Mr. Borduin’s situation. She also added that she wanted to ensure that “logistically, we never encounter these challenges again. I want it to be as smooth as the Met Gala.”

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade Dog Dressed up as a Bee

Every year, dog costumes prove it keeps getting better and more creative.

However, this is not the first time that this has happened where the parade has faced cancellation.

The parade paused during the pandemic in 2020, but it had a great comeback in 2021.

Also, in 2018, the parade officials announced that the event was canceled due to a hefty insurance and liability policy. They then changed course and held the parade still like this year.


Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.