Annual Doggone Halloween costume parade brings spooky festivities downtown
November 4, 2021
Dog tricks and treats took over Downtown Crossing this Halloween as the annual Doggone Halloween Costume Parade made its triumphant return to Summer Street between Washington and Hawley Streets on Sunday.
The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District event – in its seventh year – was held outside Macy’s from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., drawing the attention of hundreds of passing spectators and entering the contest.
The parade setup was adorned with Halloween-themed decorations, including orange and black balloons and a photo space with pumpkins and hay bales. Across the pedestrian walkway, kiosks displayed and sold dog treats with products their owners could watch as the dogs jumped in happiness.
Free dog treats were given to all dogs in attendance, along with prizes for winning dogs in various categories and their owners. Categories ranged from best dog and human duo to cutest, scariest, and best costume. Prizes included an overnight stay at pet-friendly Hyatt Regency Boston and Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall hotels, a special dinner, and shopping sprees.
The Sea of Dogs filling Summer Street had a wide variety of costumes, ranging from astronauts to spiders. Jen Santry and her pug Charlie, whom she dressed as Batman, attended the parade for the first time, but they are not new to these kinds of events.
“I’ve done dog events on the Esplanade before, they have a dog parade,” Santry said. “But they didn’t have it this year. So I tried to find another one and found this one.
This Halloween parade turned out to be a great way to celebrate the holidays for Dale, who refused to give his last name to The Beacon, and two-time champion Max, his five-year-old black boxer who dressed in bumblebee.
“I’m not a huge Halloween fan, but my dog is,” said Dale, who was undressed. “We won the first year as a pumpkin and we won the second year as an inmate. This is our third year.
Santry said the event was a festive and lively experience that she could witness with her dog as the intensity of the pandemic waned.
“COVID is improving and I just thought it was a fun outdoor activity and I love socializing with other dog owners,” Santry said.
While the contest attracted many new entrants, former contestants like Amy Newfield and her dogs Havoc and Blitz returned to the event in a group costume – Newfield as Cindy Lou Who and her dogs as than Max and the Grinch.
Newfield typically celebrates the holidays and dresses with his dogs, and being in the parade this Halloween brought back a sense of normalcy.
“It’s amazing,” Newfield said. “I was sad to miss it last year so it’s great to be back.”
Newcomer Kim Neal and her dogs Bruin, a mastiff shepherd, and Maxx, a shar pei shepherd, dressed as a bride and groom, also expressed their joy at the return of the parade.
“It’s great to see everyone here and enjoy life again,” said Neal.