Halloween Has Gone to the Dogs

by | Oct 18, 2023 | Animals, Events, Online Exclusives

North Topsail Beach will hold its first annual Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade & Costume Contest on October 25.

Visitors and residents are invited to dress up their pets and bring them to the town’s first annual Howl-O-Ween celebration on Wednesday, October 25.

The planned festivities involve many community members and organizations. The price of admission is a non-perishable canned good that will be donated to Share the Table, the local food pantry. Pets Supplies Plus is sponsoring the event and is providing a goody bag for all pre-registered pet. Proceeds from the raffles will benefit Paws 4 Purpose, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting animals through education, advocacy and services.

North Topsail Beach Town Manager Alice Derian came up with the idea for this unique community event.

“I’ve always enjoyed going to events with my own pet,” she says.

Alice Derian Lola Pet Costume

Derian says she had a lot of help from staff in planning and organizing Howl-O-Ween. Wendy Conant, the town’s code enforcement and project facilitator, donated the trophy that will go to the top pet.

North Topsail Beach’s mayor and board of aldermen will serve as judges, deciding on the winners in several categories, including Funniest, Cutest, Scariest, Most Original and Best Overall. Category winners will receive ribbons, and the Best Overall winner will receive the trophy.

To enter a pet in the parade and costume contest, humans should go to the town website or Facebook page to pre-register. Although not a requirement to participate, pre-registering guarantees the pet a spot in the parade and a goody bag.

Pet Costume Contest N Topsail Beach NC

Check-in starts at 5 pm on October 25. Pets will be assigned numbers for judging, and their humans will be asked to share a bit of trivia or an interesting fact about the pet that will be shared with the crowd during the parade. Looping through Richard Peters Park, the parade will start at 5:30 pm.

Derian says the parade route has been planned so that everyone can see the pets and their costumes. She will emcee the parade, announcing something that is unique to each pet as they pass by. Contest winners will be announced at the end of the evening.

Human participants will enjoy hot cider and cookies, and there will be pup cups for the pets. Derian says her staff members are making the pup cups (whipped cream with small milk bones on top) for all the pets in the parade.

There will be photo opportunities, two different areas set up for pets and their humans to capture the funny, cute and scary costumes of the evening. Everyone is encouraged to visit the raffle basket area throughout the event as well. Raffle items have been donated by Splash by the Sea, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Treasure, Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center and other area businesses.

Howl-o-ween Best Overall

Volunteers will help with the raffles, set up and clean up, and guide visitors. Anyone wishing to volunteer should contact Derian prior to the event.
A number of dog stations at Richard Peters Park will make it easy for everyone to clean up after their pets.

Derian emphasizes that this will be a great community event for everyone to hang out and enjoy each other and the many pets participating. Parking is available and free at the park and across the street at Beach Access #4.

Want to go?
Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade & Costume Contest
Wednesday, October 25
5 to 7 pm
Richard Peters Park, 465 New River Inlet Road, North Topsail Beach

For more information, click here.

Questions? Contact Alice Derian at aderian@northtopsailbeachnc.gov

About the author

Pat Fontana

Pat Fontana

I am a business writer and communications workshop leader. My business, WordsWorking, and my recently published book, Talk to Me Like I’m a Human, focus on improving workplace communications, concentrating on the fundamentals of human interactions. I developed, write about and train on the concept of REAL Communications, encouraging others to communicate with Respect and Empathy, paying close Attention and Listening with intent. I can be reached at pat@words-working.net.