Pug parade draws robust crowd

CHESTERTOWN - The annual Halloween Pug Party & Parade, an annual fest celebrating the diminutive canine, attracted more people this last weekend than in recent years, event coordinator Pam Morin reported Monday.She said that 208 pugs and "friends" were registered - and the latter term refers to the event allowing other breeds to register, a practice that's new this year, she said."It was very, very successful with the largest number of attendees in three years," she said, noting last year, 169 pugs registered for the event, which includes a parade with prizes for the most creative costumes, vendors, and various contests and family-oriented activities.With the event's extensive advertising and promotion this year, the Pug Party & Parade drew folks from a wide region. Morin noted that one woman from a central Florida pug rescue organization attended after seeing information about the event online.Several of the outstanding costumed entrants in the parade included a pug and its owners garbed in an Alice in Wonderland theme. While the pug was costumed as the Queen of Hearts, its owner Andrea Hamill of Gansevoort portrayed the white rabbit, and her partner was decked out as the Mad Hatter, and their child was dressed as Alice.Also a standout was a family garbed in festive spanish attire. A girl and her mother were dressed in red and black satin to resemble flamenco dancers, and the girl's father was wearing a Mexican sombrero and formal black-and-white, while the pug was garbed in a spanish cape and chapeau.Also, one family was costumed as characters from the Wizard of Oz. The mother portrayed the witch, the teen son was the tin man, the daughter as Dorothy complete with her ruby red shoes, and the pug was the famed scarecrow.A pumpkin-decorating contest attracted 40 creative entries, Morin said. The entries included pumpkins that were carved, etched and painted. Nemec's Sporting Goods and Binley's Florist both donated the pumpkins.The dessert contest was won by Nancy Austin of Chestertown, with her triple-layer pumpkin cheesecake covered with candied walnuts.New this year were games involving pugs, Morin said. One of these events included a loyalty competition, in which local Cub Scouts held the leashes of pugs, situated in a line about 40 feet away from their owners. The scouts then released the pugs, and the first to reach its owner was the winner of a prize. About 40 were registered for this game.Ten vendors offered various food and goods at the event, staged at Dynamite Hill Recreation area. New this year was the local Chamber's food booth, which did turn a profit, Morin said.She said thanks were due to the members of Boy Scout Troop 30 members, who helped set up the event site and coordinated parking.She said Dillon Englemann also deserved thanks. A Senior at North Warren High School, Dillon introduced the costumed pug contestants, complete with humorous commentary. She also expressed appreciation to greeters Richard and Barbara Blum of Horicon and Nancy Hayes of Chester.She also expressed thanks to the event sponsors: Adirondack Pines B&P, The Crossroads Store, Binley's Florist, Attorney Erin Hayes of Brant Lake, the Friends Lake Inn, Eric & Eric contractors, EZ-Marine & Storage, Barbara Thomas' Mary K. Cosmetics, Nemec's Sporting Goods of Warrensburg, Quintessence Graphics of Chestertown, Stephenson Lumber Co., Natural Stone Bridge & Caves, Tin Tepee Family Campground, Upstate Agency Insurance, Schroon River Animal Hospital and North Warren Chamber of Commerce.Also, the event receives subsidy from the county and towns through bed tax receipts.

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