Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Halloween Dog Parade in Tompkins Square Park this fall has been cancelled


[Photo from 2017 by Stacie Joy]

There will not be a 28th Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade — at least not this year.

Organizers announced on Facebook yesterday that this year's event has been cancelled:

It’s with a very heavy heart that I have to announce that the annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade will be CANCELLED this year.

Although the parade has grown over the past 28 years, it has always been the creation of a small group of volunteers from the dog park. The Parks Dept is asking for a large insurance & liability policy in order to hold the event this year — and we simply don’t have the funds or sponsor willing to provide it.

Having a means to fundraise (or a park conservancy which Tompkins Square does not) was a pre-requisite to renovating our dog park. Over the years the parade has raised more than $200,000 for the park — and secured twice that amount in matching funds. We are also leaving the dog park with an endowment at City Parks Foundation for it’s maintenance and upkeep for the next 10 years.

We wish to thank all our sponsors as well as everyone who has donated time, money, effort or stayed up to the wee hours getting that super hero cape to fit just perfectly on their dog.

We’re hopeful that the annual dog parade will return in some form in the future.

Some residents (and commenters) have complained that the Dog Parade has just gotten too big for Tompkins Square Park. Attendees from past Dog Parades said last year's crowds were the biggest ever. ABC News put the number at 10,000.


[Photo last year from 9th and A by Steven]

The parade moved from the actual dog run to the ballfields/field hockey arena in 2016.


[Photo last year by Stacie Joy]

A fan of the Dog Parade has launched a GoFund Me campaign to "save the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade! Not only will your contribution go towards keeping this annual fundraiser alive, it will help maintain the Tompkins Square Dog Run year round."

35 comments:

Giovanni said...

This is why they invented Gentrification in the first place, to rid us of the kinds of quality of life issues that diminish our enjoyment of the neighborhood. Did the organizers not notice the dangerously large crowds spilling into the streets and the overwhelming amount of trash they left behind last year? The Parks Department is tired of cleaning up their mess. Now we just need to cancel SantaCon and take back our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Good! As much as I am an advocate for all animals, this parade has turned out to be a complete shit show. I live a block away from here. Each year the crowds grow and it becomes too much with so many people and their dogs. There is litter and chaos everywhere. It is also impossible to walk anywhere near it without being bombarded with hundreds of people. It does seem to be a bit if a health hazard as well. More people and not enough space. Perhaps a larger park next time?

Neighbor said...

Sad. Obviously got a bit unruly, but one would hope a balance can be struck. Giovanni you're never getting the past back so stop acting like people having a good time is a problem generally. I get the desire to not have overly large crowds or trash left behind and agree both should not be allowed, but cancelling this altogether is unfortunate and lamenting the "good old days" is stupid.

Anonymous said...

I agree with @8:28. Getting around those huge crowds that crowded the sidewalks/streets just to run basic errands was made more difficult for me---and plenty of assholes were already drunk in the early afternoon. I can't even imagine how it was for elderly/disabled people who needed to get around in the neighborhood. And yeah, they left behind a huge mess. Thanks guys!

Some of the dogs looked miserable as well, being used as props like that, toted and carried, yanked on leashes in hot, sometimes bulky costumes ---when they probably just wanted to have a fun run and have a good shit. A friend of mine's dog hates being dressed up, will start freaking out, trying to tear what is on him off. What people will do for attention.

Let the organizers try Central Park if they're aiming for the big bucks. They'd clean up (so to speak) over there.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Giovannii. I groaned the day I spotted corporate sponsors set up all over the park as if it was their right to promote their products on public land. I would suggest the organizers move this parade to 5th Ave where every tourist in the city can gawk, Petco and other corporations and hand out free stuff and our beloved park can be returned to the neighborhood. The parade was a fun and fabulous thing in the early years but it over grew it's original spirit and location and gave travel blogs one more reason to send the masses into the East Village.

Anonymous said...

With 10k people this event should have moved elsewhere already.

Anonymous said...

No parade is needed, no dogs have to be forced into costumes, and no humans need to be massively inconvenienced.

I must be getting old b/c I don't know why we can't just have a weekend without any parade(s) or street fairs. It's as if people need some event in order to be "entertained"; I'd prefer it if we (the majority) could just go out on a Saturday AND Sunday and do whatever activities or errands we wish to do and NOT be impeded by crowds. And not have the damn buses re-routed so that they run even slower than sludge.

For me, the crap that goes on on weekends makes it hard to even get my own pets to the vet's office when needed. It can be like running an obstacle course THAT SHOULDN'T BE THERE.

WHY do we continue to allow "organizers" and "sponsors" to facilitate the gumming-up of getting around on weekends? I'd like to "take back the streets" so I could get where I need to go without wasting MY valuable time, and I know for a fact that a lot of other people feel the same way.

PS: Why is a Halloween Dog Parade the ONLY way to fund-raise for the dog run in TSP? This seems like an item the Parks Dept. should deal with. Or some rich pet lovers could contribute to, without needing a "parade" .... or are people just that self-absorbed that they don't care about the rest of us who live on this island and in this neighborhood with them?

Anonymous said...

This event should move to Union Square. Let Petco become the corporate sponsor.

Anonymous said...

10:40am: This event should move to Madison Square Garden, and they can have all the corporate sponsors they want.

Anonymous said...

Aaaawwww. Ok folks, old time EV person here and let me just say it and get it over with, the old school Halloween dog parade was fab and will be missed. In fact, old school EV was fab, unsafe, a blast to live in and sorely missed. As to conservancies for parks, not so good for regular folks, their executive need those high salaries! Conservancies are essentially corporatizing parks. They raise the prices of formerly free park activities, such as the Zoo at Central Park, which used to be free, now it costs $19.95 for adults, $14.95 for kids, $16.95 for seniors, free for 2 and under. NYC and the EV is the perfect example of what happens when unbridled capitalism rules.

Anonymous said...

Doubt that any dogs will be disappointed this news.

Anonymous said...

@1>02pm: Totally agree with your comment.

Anonymous said...

@Neighbor. Spoiler alert: this blog is called EV Grieve for a reason. We miss the old East Village because much of what is replacing it is with completely unaffordable or a total shitshow. In the “good old days” we had art and music and artists and a stronger sense of community. Now we have Dog Parades and SantaCons and Fascistic Park Conservancies in Washington Square that don't improve the lives of anyone except for bars, big real estate, and corporate sponsors. The Dog Parade used to be a nice little event, then it got corporate sponsors. Now its so overcrowded with people you can barely even see the dogs, and they leave behind so much trash its an insult to everyone who actually lives here. Move this to East River Park or somewhere else that can handle the event without so much disruption, or just cancel it since the organizers can’t seem to handle it properly anymore.

MrNiceGuy said...

This is very sad news and a loss for the neighborhood. Whether the old grumps on this blog like it or not, the Dog Parade is one of the defining annual events for Tompkins Square Park and a unique tradition that is beloved by NYC and the rest of the country (it's on the national news every year).

The parade is incredibly easy to navigate around -- simply don't go to the park that day. I am happy to be slightly inconvenienced for one Saturday a year if it means bringing happiness to so many people... not to mention the dogs. Contrary to the beliefs of non-dog-owning-EV Grumps, the dogs love the parade. Dogs love being around other dogs, plain and simple.

I'm going to contribute to the Go Fund Me page. This parade has been around for 28 years and is a neighborhood tradition. I hope I'm there for the 50th anniversary.

rubygirl said...

I communicated directly with the Parks people in charge of the clean up and they were not stressed at all. They said this was the easiest event they clean up after, and the volunteers from the dog run also stayed behind to help in the effort. The park was not left in disarray. I actually went back later in the evening and did a walk through to check the clean up. The park was cleaner than it usually is. That number has been an ongoing number for several years and there have not been any incidents that required police attention, though a police presence is always required. The lead officer loves us and is always very helpful. Comparing us to a drunken rowdy element whose participants regulsrlynthrow up in doorways is, at best, disingenuous, when we raise money for our dog run’s upkeep which is necessary and expensive. It also benefits the park in general by keeping the dog run safe and clean.

rubygirl said...

Giovanni doesn’t want the past back. He wants gentrification because he thinks rich people don’t have dogs that need a dog run.

rubygirl said...

There has never been a problem with people drinking. That’s just bs. This is an event that takes up 4-5 hours once a year and supports our park. The money raised doesn’t go into anyone’s pocket. It goes directly into the park’s fund for our dog run. Classically dog owners are not andrunken element. I think you meant SantaCon.

rubygirl said...

The funds raised from thisnevrnt go directly into the Parks Department fund for the Tompkins Square Dog Run for its upkeep and future (and past) renovations. No one makes any money from this. Every penny but formthe cost of the staging and prizes goes into this fund. Do you think you know what you’re talking about but in reality you don’t know anything.

rubygirl said...

PS. If you read the article you would see we have no conservancy. And when we did, no one on the conservancy was salaried. Stop being so grouchy and allow us thisnine day to raise money that benefits our park without your negativity b

Anonymous said...

Agreed MrNiceGuy
Just contributed as well.
Stay out of the park for one day if it bothers you so much. There's a world beyond the nabe. Remove the stick and go explore!

Anonymous said...

Speaking only of what the parade has become, not when it was a much smaller and more manageable event: I find the sidewalks surrounding TSP extremely anxiety-producing on parade day, so I can't even imagine how unpleasant it must be for so many of the puppers. It makes me mad just to think about how much stress these fool-ass attendees are causing their animals. I mean why don't they just invite a couple hundred mailmen to set off some fireworks while they are at it.

-Ave A cat lady who does not get people

Anonymous said...

"Stay out of the park for one day if it bothers you so much" You can look at things in a microscope or pull you head up and see what the dog parade as yet another local, fun and cool event which got gobbled up by corporate sponsors, hoards of tourists and a once pleasant event becomes impossible for locals to enjoy. TSP becomes a mini Times Sq on that day and when is the last time anyone reading this wanted to hang out there?

Being critical and calling crap out is not being "negative" it's about having an awareness of the takeover of our public spaces by those looking to profit from our community's beautiful park and creative energy.

Anonymous said...

I live here and pay taxes every day just like everyone else, so why should I have to stay out of the park for that one day, just so entitled dog-owners can stuff their pets into costumes (unnatural!) and make the park off-limits to those of us who want to just enjoy a peaceful walk in the park on a weekend? An event that draws 10,000 people is not a "neighborhood event".

This is getting like the Greenwich Village Halloween parade, which USED TO BE a neighborhood event (on 10th St., where I stood & watched it in awe nearly 40 years ago) but now it's become this "thing" that closes large swaths of 6th Avenue and is televised.

I want my neighborhood to be a neighborhood - and that means the dog owners don't get to throw me out of the park for the day any more than drug dealers are entitled to throw me out of the park for the day. It's my park and my weekend, too!

KeyFood4Eva said...

you're the man now dawg

MrNiceGuy said...

"Dogs hate the dog parade!!" -- EV Grump readers who don't actually own dogs

As the owner of a dog who LOVES attention from people and other dogs, I can say with certainty the parade is my dog's favorite day of the year. Just because you're bitter people are having fun in your neighborhood, don't take it on on the pups. Let them have their parade

Anonymous said...

@rubygirl, I'm sure the parks department can find you a space that's more appropriate for 10k+ people.

Party Pooper Scooper said...

This event is definitely NOT the same event it was when it started out years ago. The last few years it has turned into a loud, corporate sponsored,crowded mess just like the West Village Halloween Parade, It’s not even about the dogs anymore, its about the fetishistic Cosplay owners dressing up for their Instagram Moments of fleeting fame. It’s a narcissists paradise, which goes along with the sense of superiority and entitlement we see in these comments by the supporters. They are just like the anti-rent stabilization crowd that always says “If you dont like it then you can leave.” No. We are not leaving. We are the East Village. I agree with the Parks Department; either get your act together or go somewhere else that can handle these crowds.

Anonymous said...

Too crowded last year though still fun seeing the dogs. Don't see any solution to crowds of that size except closing streets - which I'd be all for, I like closed streets for any non-disaster reason, but am quite sure that will be a minority opinion around this blog and not gonna happen anyway.

To whoever was complaining of drunkenness upthread: Are you sure you have the right event? Mobbed? Yes. Boozing, rowdy? No. I think you meant Wigstock.

Anonymous said...

Unless you ARE a dog, you can't speak for all dogs and say they're all having a great time at this event, especially as it is today. We see photos of the adorable dogs in costume and hope they're having fun, but if you actually KNOW dogs, then you know that there is a whole lot of anxiety going on in many of their furry little heads.

Dogs, in general, do not like crowds, yelling, or confusion, all of which this event has in abundance. And you don't need to be a dog parent yourself to realize this! Although I happen to be a Pomeranian auntie several times over, TYVM, and I can assure you that my pommie niece/nephew would be freaking the hell out if forced to participate in the current iteration of this thing.

I swear, half of being a cat person is choosing cats over dogs not because dogs aren't wonderful, but because being a dog parent means regular interaction with selfish humans, the kind who think they can speak for animals.

-Ave A cat lady who is starting to think this "parade" has become Doggie Santacon

Anonymous said...

Dogs are wonderful pets and companions. No matter how much you love your dog or you believe your dog loves you it is not your child, nephew or niece and you will never be it's parent. Other people have more rights than you dog so stop the aggression to people that rather have a park that is not dedicated to dog owners dressing the dogs up like children for Halloween.

Anonymous said...

@8:49am: "Doggy Santacon" sums it up very well!

I grew up with dogs: 2 German Shepherd mixes, 1 Jack Russell-ish mix. My extended family had a marvelous Pit Bull/Lab mix who was a marshmallow, and my niece currently has a 20-pound mid-size dog who's a Heinz 57 variety. All of these were from the shelter or saved from the street, and they were/are all WONDERFUL. And NEVER would our family have considered doing anything like this to any of them; both the dogs and my family had more dignity than that.

Anonymous said...

8:58, it’s not for you to decide what constitutes family for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster above and others who say this event has gotten out of hand---the huge crowd and the hoopla are just too much for this small park/community.

And assuming that your dog "loves" this event (even knowing that they're territorial by nature and can get agitated and upset because of that very trait) is just foolishness. Your dog loves you so it will often put up with your whims---but there are limits for some dogs. I can personally attest that some dogs HATE being dressed up---and go fucking crazy trying to get out of "clothes" and shit made of cardboard, etc.

Anonymous said...

@1:15, no one is telling anyone what they can consider family. But no one else is obligated to feel the same, and many people don't.

Unknown said...

i suggest you call it a halloween dog park protest and talk to Norman Siegel. Just say you are protesting the large amount of money the Parks Department wans to charge for it. Since a protest is a First Amendment protected event they cannot deny a permit or charge you insurance and they are afraid of Norman Siegel so they have to give you the ok.