Montclair Pooches Take Home the Trophy in 'Strut Your Mutt' Contest

Credits: (Photo by Glen Frieson)
Credits: Glen Frieson
Credits: Glen Frieson
Credits: Glen Frieson
Credits: Glen Frieson

MONTCLAIR/BLOOMFIELD, NJ -Bloomfield/Montclair, NJ - Joe Kavesh from Montclair and his pet Vader and several friends who dressed as the Joker and other villains from Batman for winning first place in the Couple Costume Category at the Essex County Strut Your Mutt Annual Canine Halloween Costume Contest in Essex County Brookdale Dog Park on Saturday, October 24th.

Strut Your Mutt is the County’s annual Canine Halloween Costume Parade and Contest. Dog owners were invited to display their creativity and dress their canine pets in costumes. The parade was free and prizes were awarded to the winners in each category.

The County hosted two costume parades and contests - a morning parade at the Brookdale Dog Park in Essex County Brookdale Park and an afternoon parade at the South Mountain Dog Park in Essex County South Mountain Reservation. 

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Other Montclair pets and families include, Lauren Zodel and her pet Frankie, who was dressed as a crocodile, won second place in the Scariest Costume Category. While Jean Dabrowski, her family and their pet dressed as characters from "Star Wars" won second place in the Couple Costume Category.

The most creative third prize winner was Dana Borzomati's dog Abby from Upper Montclair. Abby was dressed as Batman and rode in a motorized Batmobile. She won third place in the Most Creative Costume Category.

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. also congratulated Marijoy Tibay from Montclair and her pet Lucy who was dressed as a rainbow fish for winning second place in the Most Creative Costume Category.

“Our Dog Parks have become popular places for dog owners to bring their pets, and our Canine Halloween Costume Parades are another opportunity for the public to enjoy our historic Park System,” DiVincenzo said. “I am always amazed and impressed with the creativity of the costumes. Congratulations to the winners,” he added.

A list of award winners at the Essex County Brookdale Dog Park Contest are as follows:

Best in Show: Vanessa Montesano from Clifton and her pet Lunchbox who was dressed as a smart shopper and pushed a shopping cart.


Scariest Costume: First place: Jai Lee Wexler from Clifton who was dressed as Maleficent and her pet Chanel who was dressed as Princess Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty.” Second place: Lauren Zodel from Montclair and her pet Frankie who was dressed as a crocodile. Third place: Noreen Fitzsimons from Nutley and her pet Bailey who was dressed as a spider.


Most Creative Costume: First place: Regina Mahon from Bayonne and her pet Gizmo who was dressed as a sheriff riding a horse. Second place: Marijoy Tibay from Montclair and her pet Lucy who was dressed as a rainbow fish. Third place: Dana Borzomati from Upper Montclair and her pet Abby who was dressed as Batman and rode in a motorized Batmobile.


Couple Costume: First place: Joe Kavesh from Montclair, his pet Vader and several friends who dressed as the Joker and other villains from Batman. Second place: Jean Dabrowski and her family from Montclair and their pet who dressed as characters from “Star Wars.” Third place: Fanny Chin from Bloomfield who dressed as a Kikkoman soy sauce bottle and her pets Lexi, Gyro and Shadow who dressed as sushi rolls.

Award winners at the Essex County South Mountain Dog Park Contest are as follows:


Best in Show: Kelly Cuykendall from Woodbridge, her pet Simon and her friends who dressed as Snoopy and members of the Peanuts gang.


Scariest Costume: First place: Rebecca Wilkening from Maplewood and her pet Pepper who dressed as a devil. Second place: Mary Morris from East Hanover and her pet Axle who dressed as a dragon. Third place: Caitlin McDonough from Verona and her pet who dressed as a skunk.


Most Creative Costume: First place: Nila Schomfield from Maplewood and her pet Georgia who dressed as Pocahontas and John Smith. Second place: Pete Lionetti and his pets who dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and Grandma. Third place: Joyce Alilio from West Orange and her pet Chip who dressed as a Beanie Baby doll.


Couple Costume: First place: Matt Greller and his family from Millburn and their pets Angus and Clyde who dressed as Minions and bananas. Second place: DJ Meisch from Nutley, his pet Lucky and friends who dressed as characters from “The Wizard of Oz.” Third place: Tracie Koehnlein from West Orange and her pet Stella who dressed as Ozzie Osborn and a bat.

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