A pack of two dozen pooches and a rat named Betty strutted their stuff on the Boardwalk during Deno’s Wonder Wheel’s annual Pet Day costume contest on May 31.
And one hound came dressed as Coney Island’s own top dog — unofficial mayor Dick Zigun. The clever costume was a no-brainer, said it’s creator.
“I really like the Mermaid Parade, and I find Zigun to be an interesting character, so I thought it would be interesting and Coney Island-related,” said Jenny S., who will also be judging the mermaid-themed march down Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk on June 20.
So she dressed Snickers, her miniature Australian Shepherd, in full Dick Zigun regalia — including a black tank top, bowler’s hat, shades, and a Tilly-emblazoned drum just like the one Coney Island’s unofficial mayor beats while leading the annual Mermaid Parade.
After seeing a photo of the dog on Twitter, Zigun invited Jenny for a beer at Coney Island USA.
But the pint-sized parade paragon took second place in the contest.
The judges — Ferris wheel magnate Diane Vourderis, burlesque dancer Angie Pontani, and Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) — gave top honors to Paquito, a Chihuahua dressed up like a police patrol car.
The dog’s owner said he wanted to inject a bit of levity to reduce the recent tensions between police and locals.
“With all the situations happening with police and civilians and shootings, I thought I’d make something to liven up the situation,” said Kevin Serrano of Queens, Paquito’s owner.
Erin Samuelsen and her pet rat Betty, who came dolled up as Disney fairy Tinker Bell, took third place.
It was Serrano’s third victory in the contest since 2003, he said. He didn’t expect a win this year, but the field left a bit to be desired, he said.
“I thought there was going to be better competition, because there’s such a big turnout,” he said.