Fundraiser launched to save the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

Susan Richard
August 23, 2018 - 2:17 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) They may not be letting the dogs out in Tompkins Square Park this Halloween.  

Organizers announced on their Facebook page that the annual Halloween Dog Parade has been cancelled.  They say because the event has become so popular, the city Parks Department asked for a large insurance and liability policy to cover as many as twenty thousand people.  Sponsorship money raised has covered the cost roughly $20,000 cost, but the additional expense would raise that to at least $30,000.

There's now a Go Fund Me page raising money to save the parade. "The community is crying out for this event," volunteer Ada Nieves told 1010 WINS. "Since this has been going on for 27 years, people expect it to happen. People come from different states.  They come from Canada.  I even have messages from France."

Organizers say the event has raised $200,000 over nearly three decades and secured twice that amount in matching funds.  The money has gone toward a ten year endowment for the maintenance and upkeep of the park.

In a statement, the Parks Department said, "Puppies donning the cutest costumes is something we and all New Yorkers have looked forward to each Halloween since the parade’s inception—this year is no different."  The statement goes onto say that after the 2016 event, it was clear that the event had grown significantly in size, to more than 500 people, as such they had to require a contract. As a part of that, a standard certificate of insurance valued at $1 million is required. They say organizers were notified for this year's COI on August 13th, and they cannot speak to any rise in insurance costs.