By Caroline Spivack
The whole competition went to the dogs — but that was the plan!
A pack of two dozen pampered pups strutted their stuff at the 7th-annual Pet Day at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and Pet Costume Contest on June 10. Dapper doggies donned elaborate looks inspired by the People’s Playground, but in the end it was a classic tropical get up of Hawaiian shirts and hula skirts that took the crown.
“We went all out. I got my boyfriend and I matching Hawaiian outfits and then I found matching Hawaiian shirts for the dogs,” said Cree Carrico, who won first place along with her parent’s pups — Faelan the Pomeranian and a Maltese aptly named Falcon. “Just thought it would be a silly, fun thing to do. I’m still kind of shocked we won.”
The Carrico’s snagged a season pass for Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and an $150 gift certificate to Petco for their creativity.
Other fluff balls squeezed into mermaid costumes, strapped on a set of wings, and figuratively and literally became hot dogs under the sweltering Boardwalk sun.
Second prize went to the fantastical duo 12-year-old Mason Leibowitz dressed as a wolf with her garden fairy sidekick, Chuchi the Chihuahua. And third place went to a costume inspired by trips to the People’s Playground as a youngster, said Barbara Serrano who dressed as classic Coney fare with her pup Malibu and her daughter’s doggy Benji.
“It was really inspired by the nostalgia of going to Nathan’s,” said Serrano, whose daughter dressed Benji last year as a lobster in a pot. “My dad would always take me to Coney Island and those were good memories. So I said, ‘Everybody goes to Nathan’s for a hot dog. Let’s make it about that.’ ”
Serrano donned a checkered table cloth with condiments and plastic baskets of grub, while her canine compatriots filled out corn and hot dog costumes. Serrano may not have taken the grand prize, but competing with her dolled up doggies was its own reward, she said.
“It was beautiful,” said Serrano. “No matter how big or small the costume, just that people were able to participate with their fur babies made it all wonderful.”
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