Pets strut their stuff in Howl-O-Ween Parade


Pets and their owners will be dressed for the season during the Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade and Costume Contest at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 in downtown Black Mountain.

"Barbie" was one of the winners in the pet category last year.

Now in its 15th year, the event has become a Black Mountain tradition over the years. Organized in 2002, by the late Sandi Rector, the previous owner of BoneAFide Bakery, and June Vengoechea of Visions of Creation, the event has grown through the years to include hundreds of participants and contestants, many of whom have become repeat attendees throughout the years.

After Rector passed away in 2012, the new owner of BoneAFide Pet Boutique, Kim Weeks continued the tradition with Vengoechea. The organizers and the people the event attracts have always loved seeing all the pets and, sometimes, entire families in their costumes. Some people start planning their outfits early in the year and start calling in the summer to ask about the date.

Even the judges dress up for Howl-O-Ween.

Don’t think this event is just for dogs. In years’ past, participants have included pigs, goats, cats and even a tarantula. It’s not only people and their pets that come together for this day - many local businesses sponsor the event by donating gift certificates and cash for prizes.

Participation in the parade is free, and everyone is welcome to walk around the town to show off their costumes. Registration for the costume contest is $5 for pets and $8 for pets and people, with a portion of the proceeds donated to local rescue organizations. Prizes are awarded in two categories – pets only and pets and people. The two first-prize winners from both categories compete for the $100 cash grand prize. 

"God Golly Miss Molly" showed up last year with braids and everything.

The parade begins at Town Square promptly at 3 p.m. Registration for the costume contest is from 1–2:30 p.m. under the tent at the square. The contest will begin immediately following the parade.

Everyone is welcome to participate. Learn more at