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This year’s Howl-O-Ween Parade and Costume Contest will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27 in Town Square.

All pets and people are invited to participate in the parade as it makes its way through town, where spectators line the streets to see all the costumes.

Furry friends are dressed up for the event organizers call "spooktacular." It's a display of human ingenuity in pet costuming around.

This event hasn’t just “gone to the dogs.” It has featured cats, goats and even a tarantula as participants in past years. 

The parade will start promptly at 3 p.m. Registration for the costume contest will be from 1-2:30 p.m. under the tent.

The contest will begin immediately after the parade. Judges will award prizes for the three best costumes in two categories: pet only and pet-people (for pets with their human friends or family).

Registration for the contest is $5 for the pet-only category and $8 for the pet-people group. The money collected from the registration fees will be donated to a Hurricane Animal Relief Fund to help animals affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. On-site donations will also be collected for this effort.

This year marks 16 years for this event, and participation continues to grow every year. Originally started by Sandi Rector (BoneAFide Bakery) and June Vengoechea (Visions of Creation), as a small, local event, the event has become increasingly popular among locals and visitors, with many visitors calling in early summer to see when it will be held.

What has now become a Black Mountain tradition, is still organized by Vengoechea and the current owner of BoneAFide Pet Boutique, Kim Weeks.

Sponsors of the event include many area merchants who donate cash and gift certificates as prizes for the contest. Sponsors of this year’s event include: Visions of Creation, BoneAFide Pet Boutique, Poppy’s Popcorn, Curiosity Shoppe, Dang! Fairy Hair, Merry Wine Market, Town Hardware, Take A Hike, CW Moose, Black Mountain Quilts, Foothills Meats, Mountain Nest, Dark City Deli, Chifferobe, Cherry Street Kids, Head to Toe, Bramblewood, My Father’s Pizza, Hey Hey Cupcake, Common Housefly, among others.

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