'Martha Stewart'-Featured Pup Inspires McCarren Park's First 'Howl-a-Ween'

By Meredith Hoffman on October 24, 2012 8:56am 

WILLIAMSBURG — She has modeled purple leg warmers and a vivacious blonde wig as a Miss Piggy aerobics instructor on the "Martha Stewart" show.

She has sauntered through the city in a green-and-blue dinosaur jumpsuit matching her brother Hank.

And now Lady the French bulldog is prompting her owner Eric Arnstein to start a whole outdoor festival: Howl-A-Ween in McCarren Park.

"Lady is my inspiration in everything I do," said Arnstein, founder of the dog-sitting company Dog-E-Dog, which is hosting the canine costume competition this Saturday. “We’re making a runway across the grassy area, and we’ll have a costume contest and tricks.”

At the free public contest — modeled after the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park puppy event — Arnstein will be the master of ceremonies (potentially dressed as a butternut squash), while Timmy Mislock of the Antlers band will be DJ-ing oldies tunes and the indie-rock group’s Peter Silberman will be judging the most impressive animal outfits.

“It’s dogs in costumes so who knows, anything goes,” Silberman said of what he’ll be looking for in the winner, “but I feel like I’ll know it when I see it.”

Arnstein’s pups promise stiff competition, with Lady’s past including her cameo on the "Martha Stewart" Holloween Petacular Show in 2010, he said.

“There's no pre-registration, you just show up and we'll take as many as we can,” said Arnstein, 28, a Greenpoint resident who has connected with neighborhood businesses to co-sponsor the event, a fundraiser for McCarren Dog Run.

A raffle will include prizes from Lucky Dog and Five Leaves and a free haircut from Tommy Gun Salon, Arnstein said, and local pet stores with sponsor tables will offer free dog snacks and photo booths.

And as for pet prizes, categories will include best in show and best “trick for treat,” Arnstein said.

"Williamsburg is full of creative people who can make their own costumes, and McCarren is dead in the center, it's the perfect location," he said. "This is completely free and open to the public."

Howl-a-Ween will be held from noon to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in McCarren Park near the park's dog run. 

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