Call it an early Howl-o-ween!
Visitors to Coney Island on June 9 might have thought Halloween had come early this year when pooch parents and their pups arrived donning their wackiest costumes for the eighth-annual Pet Day Costume Contest at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, which brought out the creativity — and competition — in everyone, according to one participant.
“It was super awesome,” said Andrew Sargeant. “There was some really cool competition out there.”
The judges — Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island), Miss Coney Island Gigi Bon Bon, and Brooklyn Cyclones staffer Nicole Kneessy — inspected and ranked at least 25 competitors for humor, creativity, and pet-owner costume combos. Pet parents pulled out all the stops to impress the judges, showcasing getups that included Pennywise the Clown, characters from “The Jetsons,” and even dogs inside up in a faux claw game machine.
But Sargeant, his partner Maurice Renfro, and his pup Clark took home the top prize. They dressed in Star Wars outfits, but flipped the script on the popular science-fiction franchise. Sargeant said they crafted an alternate story that featured a stormtrooper rescuing “Bark Vader” from a villainous version of Princess Leia. Their innovative ensemble earned them a Petco gift card, season passes to Deno’s Wonder Wheel, tickets to an upcoming Cyclones game, and a brief taste of stardom, according to Sargeant.
“Clark felt like a superstar that day,” he said. “He had his tongue out and was smiling.”
The event was so enjoyable that Sargeant said he intends to return next year, and he hopes even more participants will join the fun next time.
“Hopefully our costumes inspired other people to come out and participate more,” he said.