It’s the great PUPkin! Beloved Fort Greene dog costume contest turns 25 next month

dogs dressed as train at great PUPkin
The 25th annual Great PUPkin dog costume contest will return to Fort Greene next month.
File photo by Ximena del Cerro

It’s the Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest, Charlie Brown!

For the 25th year in a row the beloved Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest is making its way back to Fort Greene Park much to the delight of New Yorkers across the five boroughs.

Each year the contest is hosted by Fort Greene Park Users and Pets Society — or PUPS — and welcomes more than 100 canines of all shapes, sizes, and breeds along with their loving owners with proceeds going towards PUPS’ programming and event costs.

crowd of dogs at great PUPkin dog costume contest
Each contestant show off their outfit in front of an adoring crowd and a panel of judges. File photo by Ximena del Cerro

“For the past 25 years, the Great PUPkin has taken place rain or shine — even during a global pandemic!” said event director, Alana Davis. “It’s amazing that we are celebrating the silver anniversary of what has become a Brooklyn tradition.”

PUPS is a Brooklyn-based non-profit that has worked hard to bring representation to the animal loving community of Fort Greene by fighting to preserve off-leash hours and furnish Fort Greene Park with new benches and dog poop bag holders. They also frequently host community-wide events such as volunteer cleanups and puppy meetups.

Pups and people alike who participate in the contest will get the chance to showcase their creativity and strut their stuff in front of an adoring audience with a select few participants walking away with a prize if they earn enough applause.

alligator dog at great PUPkin
The contest is attended by hundreds of local dog owners and dog lovers each year. Photo courtesy of Fort Greene PUPS

Last year, three dogs earned recognition for their outfits — a trio dressed up as a subway train and conductors, a pup and her owners dressed up as IKEA furniture and employees, and, in first place, a pampered pooch dressed up as “The Princess and the Pea” – with her owner featuring as the pea. 

All Ears Veterinary Hospital and Bond Vet are among the two distinguished event sponsors, while prizes are being donated from organizations such as Books Are Magic, Boris & Horton, BarkBox, and many more.

dog dressed as wordle
In 2022, one tech-savy pup dressed up as the popular game Wordle. File photo by Ximena del Cerro

Those interested in participating will be required to pay a $15 registration and sign up online anytime from Monday, Sept. 25 until Sunday, Oct. 22 at 10 p.m.

This year’s festivities are set to take place on Saturday, Oct. 28 at noon. On the day of the contest, participants and spectators will gather at the Fort Greene Park Monument Plaza with check-in beginning at 11 a.m. and closing promptly at 11:45 a.m. Those who are unable to watch in-person can stream the event live on Facebook.