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Pooches parade in Halloween garb at Barkfest in Setauket

Gus, at the driver's wheel of a replica

Gus, at the driver's wheel of a replica of a Good Humor truck, joins Harley, lower left, as a strawberry shortcake bar and Blue, as a chocolate eclair bar, at the annual Barkfest in Setauket on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Dianne Ferrer, who owns the dogs, is from Marine Park, Brooklyn. Photo Credit: James Carbone

Pomeranians dressed as pumpkins, a bloodhound garbed as McGruff the Crime Dog and several “hot dogs” were among the 100 pups that participated in the seventh annual Suffolk County Barkfest contest Sunday in Setauket.

Starting at noon, dozens of dogs in costume gathered to romp around in a field outside the Holiday Inn Express Stony Brook for the event. The dogs later paraded around the field to the tune of “Who Let the Dogs Out” and prizes were awarded for the best costumes.

“It’s a beautiful fall day and it’s just great fun for the dogs to get together and socialize,” said Debby Michienzi, of Mount Sinai, whose pooch Lucy, a Portuguese water dog dressed as a hot dog, chased a Dachsund sporting a pair of devil’s horns.

Sponsors of the event include WALK FM/97.5 in Patchogue, Save-A-Pet animal shelter in Port Jefferson Station, Little Shelter Rescue and Adoption Center in Huntington and St. James Animal Hospital.

Jessica Proios, of South Setauket, dressed Elliot, her Great Pyrenes-poodle mix, as a cop, while Proios’ toddler, Athena, went as a doughnut.

“I thought it was funny, to do the stereotype thing,” said Proios, who is a Suffolk police officer. “We’re having a great day.”

Several other dog owners also went in costume for the event.

Denise Lacker, 55, of Centereach, and her wheaten terrier, Zoe, both dressed as yellow Minions from the movie, “Despicable Me.” And Diana Lucchi, 58, of Long Beach, donned a rainbow wig to match her Mi-Ki pups, who were dressed as a clown and an elephant.

A small group of judges awarded prizes for the most original costume, best group costume, funniest get-up and the grand prize for best dressed pooch.

Dianne Ferrer and her three dogs took home the top prize at this year’s contest, a free night’s stay at the Holiday Inn Express Stony Brook.

Ferrer, of Brooklyn, spent weeks making her dogs’ costumes. Gus, Ferrer’s French bulldog, went as an ice cream man, while her two other dogs were dressed as ice cream.

All three canines were seated in a replica of a Good Humor truck, which Ferrer said she built of out foam core, PVC piping and “lots of duct tape.”

“It was just a ton of fun,” Ferrer said. “Getting to see all these excellent costumes made for a great day.”


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