This is a press release from Essex County. Press releases are official statements that have not been independently verified.

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. welcomed dog owners and their pets to the Annual Essex County Strut Your Mutt Canine Costume Parades and Contests at the Essex County Brookdale Dog Park in Bloomfield/Montclair and Essex County Grover Cleveland Park in Caldwell/Essex Fells on Saturday, October 23rd and the Essex County Branch Brook Dog Park in Newark on Sunday, October 24th.

“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.

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: Gabriella and Yvet Crocco, Jessica, Franklin and Troy Tapia and from Little Falls and their dogs Layla, Luigi and Lily who were dressed as characters from the “Despicable Me” movies.

Cutest Costume: First Place: Maggy Tung from Bloomfield and her dog Remi who were dressed as bees and beekeepers. Second Place: Cristina Ofrancia from Bloomfield and her dog Frisky who was dressed as Chuckie. Third Place: The Osborne family from Montclair and their dog Willow who were dressed as a scuba diver and dive team.

Most Creative Costume: First Place: Lauren Zedel from Montclair and her dog Frankie who was dressed as a dragon. Second Place: Lisa and Tom Schmidberger from Bedminster and their dog Jack who were dressed as characters from “Pinocchio.” Third Place: Lynn Consovoy and Blake Tramel from Paramus and their dog Avery Finn who were dressed as the Orient Express.

Group Costume: First Place: Kristen Graham from Hawthorne and her dogs Sadie, Ollie, Benji and Rinny were dressed as Super Mario Brothers characters. Second Place: The Francisco family from Somerset and their dog Rocket who was dressed as characters from “Loki.” Third Place: The Colombo family from Carlstadt and their dog Scrubby who were dressed as Spotted Lanternflies.

Award winners at the Essex County Grover Cleveland Park Contest are as follows:

Best in Show: Michelle and Gwen Gettings and Abby, Brooke and Maddy Woods from Verona and their dogs Bella Gettings and Charlie Woods who were dressed as Pink Ladies from the movie “Grease.”

Cutest Costume: First Place: The Metz family from Clifton and their dog Luca who were dressed as “Toy Story” characters. Second Place: Anna Marie from Wayne and her dog Molly who was dressed as Dumbo. Third Place: Shirley Chin from Caldwell and her dog Pip who was dressed as a Rutgers cheerleader.

Most Creative Costume: First Place: Rose Russo from North Caldwell and her dog Max who was dressed as a bowl of cereal. Second Place: The Semos family from Jersey City and their dog Princess who were dressed as a bumble bee family and a flower. Third Place: Maggie McGee, Eleanor Jicard and Meg McCabe from Caldwell and their dog Lewis and Clark who were dressed as the explorers Lewis and Clark.

Group Costume: First Place: Jody Tennant from Caldwell and her dogs Reed and Christmas who were dressed as the Three Bears looking for Goldilocks. Second Place: Eileen, Caitlyn, Keira and Brendon Houlihan from West Caldwell and their dog Lucky who were dressed as a firefighter, Cruella De Vil, an elf and a dogcatcher. Third Place: The Geiger family from West Caldwell and their dogs Brody and Wesley who were dressed as Harry Potter characters.

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

Best in Show: Parker, Aiden, Lisa and Jamin Gilrain from Wayne and their dogs Sprinkles, Malibu and Coral who were dressed as an ice cream banana split.

Cutest Costume: First Place: Nicole Nuvellino from Springfield and her dog Julius who was dressed as Olaf from the movie “Frozen.” Second Place: Maddie Jennerich from East Rutherford and her dog Mila who was dressed as a horse and cowboy. Third Place: Hector Rodriguez from Newark and his dog Toby who was dressed as a fireman.

Most Creative Costume: First place: Vanessa Montesano from Clifton and her dog Lunchbox who was dressed as a fortune teller. Second Place: Alanna Honore and her friends from Newark and their dogs who were dressed as Shiloh shepherds. Third Place: Michael Bravata from Newton and his dog Candie who was dressed as My Little Pony.

Best Group Costume: First Place: Tamara Rivera and her family from Roselle and her dog Zulu who was dressed as Star Wars characters. Second Place: Adrianna and Fjori Zguro from Belleville and their Otto who were dressed as the King of the Jungle. Third Place: The Troche-Hayes family from Newark who were dressed as characters from the Spider-Verse movies.

The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 23 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, Treetop Adventure Course, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, five off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens. Essex County’s five dog parks are located in Brookdale Park in Bloomfield/Montclair, South Mountain Reservation in Maplewood/Millburn, Hilltop Reservation in North Caldwell, Branch Brook Park in Newark and Watsessing Park in Bloomfield/East Orange.