Dogs take the catwalk! Slope summer strolls kick off with show of costumed canines

Dogs take the catwalk! Slope summer strolls kick off with show of costumed canines
Photo by Caroline Ourso

These dogs are man’s best-looking friend!

More than 40 dapper pups dressed in the latest canine couture turned out for a beloved Park Slope bar’s dog fashion show on Saturday, where the furballs’ finery won them even more affection from neighbors than usual, according to one mutt’s mom.

“As soon as he puts on his sunglasses, he knows that he gets extra attention. Everyone comes to him, and he just eats it up,” said Jessie Velazquez, whose American Bully Biggie sported a pair of hip aviator shades for the event. “He loves it.”

The stylish soiree at Freddy’s Bar kicked off the first of the neighborhood’s Fifth Avenue Summer Stroll events, a series that draws locals to the commercial strip for four Saturdays of good old-fashioned frolicking.

And this year, the fashion show — still the stroll’s only party that invites Slopers to drink surrounded by costumed canines — took a democratic turn, shedding its competition portion that named winners in numerous categories such as last year’s “Best Catholic” in favor of an open format, where contestants strutted the catwalk largely for the thrill of picture-taking spectators — and for freebies from staff at the Fifth Avenue watering hole between 17th and 18th streets, Velazquez said.

“They gave out dog tags, treats, and stuff like that, which was really nice,” Biggie’s human said.

Other attractions at the inaugural Fifth Avenue Summer Stroll of the season included an empanada-eating contest organized by Latin American restaurant Empanada Loca, and a disco roller-skating party following the runway show that ended early due to an evening rainstorm, according to a Freddy’s barkeep.

“Unfortunately the weather shutdown the rolling-skating aspect of the evening,” said Ellen O’Shea.

Those who missed out on the fun still have time to hit the pavement during the three upcoming strolls, which will take place on Fifth Avenue between 12th and 18th streets on July 28, and on Fifth Avenue between Dean Street and Sterling Place on Aug. 11 and 18, all between 5 and 9 pm.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Aloha: Jen Ondrejicka’s dog Folsom donned a Hawaiian shirt for the fashion show at Freddy’s Bar, which kicked off the first of four Fifth Avenue Summer Strolls in Park Slope.
Photo by Caroline Ourso