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Costumed canines reign at Chestertown's Pug Parade & Party

Soon after they won second prize for ‘Prettiest’ — dressed as masquerade ball partygoers — in the recent Pug Parade competition in Chestertown, Julie Moffitt and her daughter Ariel watch their dog ‘Angel’ pose for posterity. Contestants in the annual event dressed up their pugs as everything from cartoon and storybook characters to a roller-derby referee.

Soon after they won second prize for ‘Prettiest’ — dressed as masquerade ball partygoers — in the recent Pug Parade competition in Chestertown, Julie Moffitt and her daughter Ariel watch their dog ‘Angel’ pose for posterity. Contestants in the annual event dressed up their pugs as everything from cartoon and storybook characters to a roller-derby referee. Photo by Thom Randall.

— The pug-fest was also a family get-together for Kelli McDermott and her daughter Courtney McDermott and Courtney’s boyfriend, Eric Markson of Utica.

They collaborated on constructing an Old McDonald’s Farm float complete with a barn built out of Duplo blocks. Starring in the storybook scene were Courtney’s Boston-Terrier cross “Obie” dressed as a goat, Markson’s Plott hound “Lefty” representing a scarecrow, and Kelli’s pug “Melvin” impersonating a cow.

This was Kelli’s second year at the event, she said.

“We enjoyed it so much, we had to come back.”

Courtney McDermott added her thoughts.

“Pugs are such clowns — they like to show off,” she said. “Getting so many together like this, you can’t help but smile.”

Other families getting into the canine costume caper were members of the Pasco family of Livingston, NY. Vicki Pasco and her daughter Alyssa, 15, jointly created a Batmobile — with a lot of cardboard, black paint and duct tape — for their little black pug “Fenway,” who they dressed up as superhero Robin. Their brown pug “Molly” masqueraded as Batgirl.

“I love Batman, so it was really fun,” explained Alyssa.

“With all the creativity that’s displayed here, it’s awesome,” her mother said. “And everyone here truly has a love of pugs.”

While others were rookies at gussying up their dogs, Carol Ornoski of Queensbury was a veteran at it. She dressed up her pug “McKenna” as Minnie Mouse, complete with big ears, fanciful dress and dainty shoes.

“McKenna loves to get dressed up — she craves the attention,” she said. “I really enjoy this — it’s not a get-together of show dogs, it’s regular pets.

One of the most patient pugs at the party was “Matsui,” whose owner dressed him up as a foil-wrapped baked potato, ready for serving. The pug listened to her owner Margaret Assman of Saratoga Springs crack a joke at his expense, but he didn’t wince.

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