Howl'oween, Justin Rudd's big, barky and tongue-drool-alicious Fido-Fest, attracts upwards of some 700 furry contenders every October. Rudd, a well-known Long Beach activist who is a champion of several local causes, calls out canines of every stripe to parade in full costume down 2nd Avenue. Is it a spectacle? To put it lightly. And the money raised goes to helping hounds in need.
Now hold on. We're guessing what you're thinking. Is this one of those deals where a few dogs turn out in droopy bowties and a chew toy is given away as top prize? Not at all. Howl'oween attracts major media love -- including some national shout-outs -- and the outfits are outlandish, creative and way over the top. Several people coordinate, down to the teeniest detail, their own costumes with their dog's get-up (we fondly remember a Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion one year, the Lion being the only non-human of the bunch). And the top prize is a year's supply of dog food. Good stuff.
The parade is Sunday, October 26, so why the head's up now? Because we must implore prospective participants to bring it. You get our drift. Do not break out the same saggy tutu your Brussels Griffon has worn for the last several years. We're encouraging you to spend several hours -- days even -- scheming about what might be the most clever, most outrageous, most photograph-able costume you can think up for your pup. We were proud to serve as a judge some years back for Justin Rudd's doggie Easter parade, and all we can say is competition is keen (if memory serves, a pug dressed as something Carmen Miranda-like nabbed top prize).
We'd love to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, personally. Who can make our doggie dream come true?
Haute Dog Howl'oween
Sunday, October 26 (parade starts at 2:30; arrive early to register)
Livingston Park, Livingston Drive and Park Avenue, Long Beach