County residents win costume contests at annual ‘Strut Your Mutt’

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ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. welcomed dog owners and their pets to the annual Essex County Strut Your Mutt Canine Costume Parades and Contests at Brookdale Dog Park Bloomfield/Montclair and at South Mountain Dog Park in Maplewood/Millburn on Saturday, Oct. 20, and Hilltop Dog Park in North Caldwell on Sunday, Oct. 21. It was the first parade held in Hilltop Dog Park, which opened in June.

“Our dog parks have become popular places for dog owners to bring their pets, and our canine Halloween costume parades are another opportunity for the public to enjoy our historic park system,” DiVincenzo said. “I am always amazed and impressed with the creativity of the costumes. Congratulations to the winners.”

Dog owners were invited to display their creativity and dress their canine pets in costumes at this annual event; the parade was free and prizes were awarded to the winners in each category.

Award winners at the Brookdale Dog Park contest were:

  • Best in Show: Jasmine and Aiden Serrano from Wayne and dog Sprinkles, who were dressed as an exterminator, mousetrap and piece of cheese.
  • Cutest Costume: first place to Jose Blanco from Belleville and dog Olivia, who was dressed as a sailor; second place to Lisa Angelini from Belleville and dog Leslie, who was dressed as a butterfly; and third place to Debra Hanoka from Bloomfield and dogs Bea and Ginger, who were dressed as a bee hive.
  • Most Creative Costume: first place to Vanessa Montesano from Clifton and dog Lunchbox, who was dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein; second place to Regina Mahon from Bayonne and pet Gizmo, who was dressed as a 1950s road trip; and third place to Lauren, Chris, Conner and Aiden Kowalski from Bloomfield and pets Ernie and Gino, who were dressed as a rowboat, fisherman, fish, scuba diver and lobster.
  • Group Costume: first place to Jody and Joseph Sumner from Caldwell and pet Reed, who were dressed as characters from “Ghostbusters”; second place to Maggy Tung from Bloomfield and pet Remi, who were dressed as characters from Stephen King’s “It”; and third place to Janine, Dan and Abigail Osborne from Montclair and pet Willow, who were dressed as a farmer and farm animals.

Award winners at the South Mountain Dog Park contest were:

  • Best in Show: Kristen Graham and Vanessa Kavash from Hawthorne and pets Sadie, Benji, Ollie, Rinny and Clancy, who were dressed as characters from “The Wizard of Oz.”
  • Cutest Costume: first place to Regina Mahon from Bayonne and pet Gizmo, who was dressed as a 1950s road trip; second place to Joy Scally from Essex Fells and pet William, who was dressed as a Fiesta Dog; and third place to Dorothy Guo from Millburn and pet Toto, who was dressed as an ice cream sundae.
  • Most Creative Costume: first place to Craig Rexford from South Orange, his friends and pet Bonnie, who were dressed as characters from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”; second place to Matt, Teddy, Sophia and Christel Greller from Millburn and pets Angus and Clyde, who were dressed as s’mores; and third place to Sydney and Grace Fradette from Verona and pet Maple, who was dressed as a Starbucks “pupaccino.”
  • Group Costume: first place to Grant and Kate Johnson from West Orange and pet Olive, who were dressed as characters from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”; second place to Amanda Scherer and Matthew Burton from Mount Arlington and pet Bailey, who were dressed as the Justice League; and third place to Leidy Valencia from Elmsford, N.Y., and pet Cass, who were dressed as characters from the Pixar movie “Coco.”

Award winners at the Hilltop Dog Park contest were:

  • Best in Show: Rose, Peter and Rachel Russo from North Caldwell and pet Max, who were dressed as a superhero family.
  • Cutest Costume: first place to Aryeh, Keren, Caleb and Mimi Legeau from South Orange and pets Mookie and Penelope, who were dressed as Aloha Pugs; second place to Eleanor Peter from Caldwell and pet Bartholomew, who was dressed as a police dog; and third place to Nancy Howla from West Caldwell and pet Louie, who was dressed as a banana split.
  • Most Creative Costume: first place to Michael Brovo from Newton and pet Candi, who was dressed as the Little Mermaid; and second place to Claire and Abigail Ortman and Eva Mark from North Caldwell and their pets, who were dressed as prisoners.

Photos Courtesy of Glen Frieson

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