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The 13thannual Howl-O-Ween Pet parade has become a fall tradition in Black Mountain. This year’s parade drew more costumed pets and people than ever before. They assembled at Town Square and paraded down the sidewalks on State Street to Cherry Street and back up Broadway to Town Square for the judging.

People and pets were dressed as characters from Star Wars, Rocky, The Hulk and other well-know television and movie personalities. Many of the costumes were handmade this year, making it even more difficult for the judges to decide on the winners.

This year there were some 32 entries. “I think the costumes were the most creative we have ever had,” long-time judge Marilyn Walker said.

First-place winner in the category of people/pets was Lauronda Morrow’s interpretation of Little Miss Muffet. Her dog Ollie was dressed as a giant spider. First-place winner in the pet category and runner-up to the grand prize winner was Oliver (a very small dog) dressed as the Incredible Hulk.

“Pets and Pets/People categories each had first-, second- and third-place prizes awarded in each category,” organizer Kim Weeks said. “The two first-place winners competed for grand prize winner. Both grand prize winner and runner up were awarded cash prizes in addition to the prizes awarded for the individual categories. We had a really good crowd of people in the parade this year, numbering between 150-200.”

The late Sandy Rector started the pet parade in 2008. June Vengochea, owner of Visions of Creation, and Kim Weeks, owner of BoneAFide Pet Boutique in Black Mountain, have organized the annual event since Rector’s death.

This year’s judges were Kate Shawgo, Julia Burr and Marilyn Walker.

All entry fees were donated to Asheville Human Society and Full Moon Farm Sanctuary.

Sponsors of the Howl-O-Ween Parade provided gift certificates for the winners. They included Merry Wine Market, Town Hardware, Take A Hike, Chifferobe, Faison O’Neal, CW Moose, Mountain Nest, Dark City Deli, Veranda, Curiosity Shoppe, Cherry Street Kids, Kilwins, Head to Toe, Thyme & Again, Seven Sisters, Europa and BoneAFide Pet Boutique.

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