About 40 residents gathered with their costume-clad pups for Ridgewood’s first Halloween Dog Parade on Sunday, Oct. 31, hosted by arts shop Tiny Arts Supply.
Vanessa America, a longtime resident of Ridgewood and owner of Tiny Arts Supply, usually goes to the Tompkins Square Dog Parade in Manhattan, but decided to bring the festivities home this year.
Originally, America had planned on opening a bar, but she pivoted after the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the hospitality industry. Instead, she opened Tiny Arts Supply, located at 58-42A Catalpa Ave., in April 2021, because she thought Ridgewood could really use an arts supply store.
Upon opening her business, America decided to prioritize various donation-based events and workshops for the community.
“That way, people can have accessibility to art, and they don’t have to break the bank to do it,” America said.
Not everyone participating in the event had to attend with a pup, though.
“When I started planning [the dog parade], people would ask me, ‘Do you have a dog?’ America said, “and I would say, ‘No, I want to see dogs in costumes. I think it’s cool.'”
The dog parade walked on the sidewalks along Catalpa and Woodward avenues and Woodbine Street. Different businesses on the strip, like Julia’s, Topos Bookstore and Grace Land, gave out water and treats.
One woman dressed up as a nun alongside her dog dressed as the pope. Also joining the parade were two corgis dressed as lobsters.
America said that she was pleased with the event’s turnout and has visions for the future, including adding more local business involvement and a raffle to donate funds to an animal shelter or rescue.
“I’m just trying to organize events and things that either Ridgewood has never seen, or I think could use more of,” America said. “It’s important when you have a stake in the neighborhood that you can make changes and create joy.”