Downtown’s 3rd Annual Barktoberfest is a Success!

by | Oct 30, 2021 | Culture, Downtown Living, Events, Featured, Featured, News

BarkToberfest’s 2021’s first prize winner, Cruz the Frenchie, herewith (l-r) MC Michael Millette, Downtown Publisher Grace Capobianco, and sponsor, Poochi NYC’s Jason Zafarana.

Downtown Magazine’s 3rd annual BarkToberfest was a howling good time!


By switching our Halloween event one day later to Oct. 27, we prevented a nor’easter from dampening the festivities.  Hundreds came out on a picture-perfect Wednesday evening down at The Seaport by Pier 17, strutting their costumed pooches on the runway for the chance to win a variety of fantastic prizes. This year’s costume choices were creative and hilariousfrom tacos, a UPS worker, a bulldozer, an angel, a cannoli, circus animals, even a Moderna vaccine!

“After a long year and a half in quarantine, political breakdown, a conflict between our human race, it was more than we could’ve imagined host our third BarkToberfest, with a turnout that was truly remarkable,” said Downtown’s founder Grace A. Capobianco. “Thank you to our judges, four-legged fur children, and Pawrents who took the time to create some of the best costumes we’ve seen. From me, and our entire team at Downtown Magazine, we thank you, our fur-children for your constant love, companionship, and no matter what day we are having, you manage to make it special. It was our honor to give you, your day in the limelight.”

“BarkToberfest is our favorite event of the year because we get to hang out with the most adorable downtown pups, said Downtown’s Editor in Chief, Deb Martin. “The costumes this year were so creative, and it was wonderful to enjoy full-on fall weather down at The Seaport.”

“Watching all the wonderful loving dogs and owners, I am reminded of the quote:  “What a wonderful place the world would be if all people had the hearts of dogs,” said judge Kelly McGowan. ” Thanks to all the participants for bringing the world of dogs alive!!”

“Thank you for being a part of 2021’s BarkToberfest. Downtown is dog town. People here care about their companions and we are excited to be providing the best quality care for them,” said Jason Zafarana of Poochi NYC. “We look forward to BarkToberfest all year and celebrating with our community.”

“This was my third year working with Downtown on this event & I really missed it last pandemic year,” said judge Martin Kesselman. “Not only were the costumes well thought out, but they were also made and presented with love.  As a designer I enjoy connecting with my clients, spending time in their homes, as well as getting to know the pets that they adore. I really enjoyed the evening, celebrating with treats, laughing together, backdropped with barks.” 

“BarkToberfest was so much fun! Love the spirit and all the pups. I wish I could be as creative. My poor pup Percy has worn the same store-bought costume every year! Great crowd, amazing participation, and perfect puppy behavior by all. Thanks for letting me be a judge. The MC nailed it!” said Cheryl Lefkovits, a friend and longtime supporter of Downtown. 

“BarkToberfest was the event of the fall for downtown fur families! My cheeks were hurting from smiling so much! These pups were dressed to impress!” enthused judge Mary Wassner.

“It was a treat for the dogs, the owners, the spectators, and the judges!” said special guest Roel Hoekstra, who works with Rabobank in The Netherlands. “Many thanks to Downtown Magazine for again making this happen!”

Check out video highlights of Downtown’s 2021 BarkToberfest below. 

Downtown regularly recognizes its four-pawed residents on the pages of Barclay’s Spot, featured in each issue of the magazine; Dan Metz is our Pet Editor! In 2022, we will start to feature Barclay’s Spot online as well. 

Final winners of BarkToberfest include:

First place-(an evening for two at The Conrad Hotel) Cruz the Frenchie heads up “Circus Crew” (pictured above)

Second place-(makeover at Fekkai, with David Cotteblanche) Sir Rummy as a “skeleton duo” (with Pawrent Mrs. America 2021, Ann Pennington) 

Mrs. America 2021, Ann Pennington, and her pooch, Sir Rummy, as skeleton duo.

Third place-(Soho dinner for two at Bice Cucina) Lucky as “Moderna Man” 

Fourth Place-(gift certificate from CitiPups) Gardi as “the bulldozer” 

Fifth Place-(Poochi NYC gift certificate), Theo as “Bucking Bronco”

Theo, Bucking Bronco
Theo, as Bucking Bronco, with Pawrent Adam Rapchik.

Additional prizes/honorable mentions:

A gift certificate from The Seaportpaw -Cannoli and the Baker

A gift certificate from The Seaportpaw-Ted

A Gift certificate from Mister Dips-Wilma and Pebbles

Our event would not be possible without our team and sponsors: 

Jason Zafarana, POOCHiNYC, our BarkToberfest partner for the past 3 years; Deb Martin, Downtown’s Editor in Chief and last minute photographer; Videographer Eddy Garay; Downtown editors, Dan Metz and Noemi Florea, who signed you in, Linda Sheridan, Managing Editor who kept us all in check; our Pawblisher Barclay who was keeping the pups entertained, The Seaport for allowing us back again this year; Lindsay Fiedler our creative, invite designer, the best EMCEE in all of NYC Michael Millette, and our gift/vendor partners, NYPLMH, CONRAD, MISTER DIPS, BOCCE’S, FULTON STALL, SMILING ROOSTER, CITIPUPS, ANIMAL HAVEN, SEAPORT PAWS THE SEAPORT, SYNLAWN, FEKKAI, stylist David Cotteblanche, and our honorable judges, Martin Kesselman, Mary Wassner, Cheryl Lefkovits, and Kelly McGowan. 

Thank you all for your participation and for making BarkToberfest a smashing success! See you next year!

Downtown Magazine