MAPLEWOOD/MILLBURN, NJ — Shirley Cain from Caldwell and her dog, Pip, recently won second place in the cutest costume category of the Essex County “Strut Your Mutt” annual canine Halloween costume contest in Essex County South Mountain Dog Park.

Pip, seen above with Cain and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr., who was dressed as pirate Captain Pip Squeak.

The county hosted two costume parades and contests this year: 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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“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,” said DiVincenzo. “I am always amazed and impressed with the creativity of the costumes. Congratulations to the winners.”

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.

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

Best in Show: Dominique and Dana Borzomati from Montclair and their pets Abby and Gracie, who were dressed as a pirate and terrorizing alligator.

Cutest Costume: First place: Monique Gallardo from Bloomfield and her pet Oliver, who dressed as a taco. Second place: Maggie Garcia from Bloomfield and her pet Cooper, who dressed as a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Third place: An animal handler from the Bloomfield Animal Shelter and Bacon, a dog that is up for adoption, dressed as President Abraham Lincoln.

Most Creative Costume: First place: Regina Mahon from Bayonne and her pet Gizmo, who was dressed as an astronaut. Second place: Lauren Zodel from Montclair and her pet Frankie, who was dressed as an octopus. Third place: Rose Hayward from Montclair and her pets Molly and Liam, who were dressed as a spider and butterfly.

Group Costume: First place: Kristen Graham and Vanessa Kabash from Hawthorne and their pets Sadie, Benji and Ollie, who were dressed as characters from Toy Story. Second place: Bobby and Brandon Pecarific from Montclair and their pet Cash, who dressed as characters from Ghostbusters. Third place: Lauren, Chris, Connor and Aiden Kowalski from Bloomfield and their pets Ernie and Gino, who dressed as firefighters.

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

Best in Show: Kelly and Aaron Sandler from Maplewood and their pet Daisy, who was dressed as a pineapple.

Cutest Costume: First Place: Hani Dean from West Orange and her pet Princess Asha, who was dressed as a princess. Second place: Shirley Cain from Caldwell and her dog Pip, who was dress as Pirate Captain Pip Squeak. Third place: Regina Mahon from Bayonne and her pet Gizmo, who was dressed as an astronaut.

Most Creative Costume: First place: The Hummert family from Millburn and their pets Angus and Clyde, who were dressed as characters from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Second place: Taylor Shapiro and her pet Luke, who was dressed as a Native American. Third place: Joy Scally and her pet William, who was dressed as a train conductor.

Best Owner-Pet Costume: First place: Kayla Rexford from South Orange and her team, who were dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz. Second place: Stephen Weiss from South Orange and his pet Sierra, who were dressed as businessmen. Third place: Paul Subon from Bloomfield and his pet Finley, who were dressed as a spoon and container of ice cream.