Canines in Costume

by Heather Gray
Posted 10/21/21

The Chestnut Hill Community Association is hosting Chestnut Hill’s first annual Canine Costume Parade on “Barktober” 30. Costumed dogs and their owners are invited to meet at the parking lots next to Mimi’s Café on East Evergreen at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, and parade with other pooches down to Buckley Park.

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Canines in Costume

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The Chestnut Hill Community Association is hosting Chestnut Hill’s first annual Canine Costume Parade on “Barktober” 30, and Presto, the 12-year old Silky Terrier who plays a starring role in the Facebook page he shares with his family cat, Miss Pea, will definitely be there. And who can guess what in the world he will be wearing?

Presto always dresses up in a costume for Halloween. Presto’s show-dog prance and beautiful, silky coat hint at his brief life as a show dog. Before he was adopted at 8 months old by Chestnut Hill resident Laura Lucas, he was named Snow Glen’s Broadway Magic. The show dog life was not for him, so now Presto is living his best and most fashionable life here in Chestnut Hill.

And he’s looking forward to the new event, when a pack of costumed canines will parade the four blocks from East Evergreen Avenue to East Hartwell Avenue. Costumed dogs and their owners are invited to meet at the parking lots next to Mimi’s Café on East Evergreen at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, and parade with other pooches down to Buckley Park. At Buckley Park, the CHCA will have treats for dogs and photo opportunities for costumed canines and their companions.

Presto and Lucas know well that Chestnut Hill is dog fur-iendly, and Presto has lots of friends in the neighborhood. On his daily walks, he stops and visits his favorite stylish shops like Isabella Sparrow, Style by Blain and J. McLaughlin. He also is a regular customer at Bone Appetite, where he gets a lot of his dog jackets. He has puffer jackets, rain jackets, and jackets to match his owner. His little coats hang from hooks by her front door.

And all that shows up on Facebook, where he has a lot of fans. 

The hill also features public water bowls for thirsty pups, which are available up and down the Avenue and secret menu items for dogs at eateries, like Starbucks’ “pup cup.” Dogs are welcome at the outdoor seating at Market at the Fareway, and Pastorius Park is a hugely “pupular” meeting spot for furry friends throughout the neighborhood.

The Chestnut Hill Business Association also hosts the annual Petapalooza, a major event for local pet lovers.

On Facebook, Lucas said, Presto and Miss Pea “live in a town called Dogville, which is very close to a lot of wonderful spots in Chestnut Hill.” Lucas posts photos taken from Presto’s point of view on her social media, and Presto is the main character in Dogvillian adventures and mysteries. Lucas spends 20 to 30 minutes every day just downloading and posting Presto’s stories, and more time answering fan mail.

“I’ve created this imaginary universe for Presto and my cat Miss Pea,” said Lucas, “and they have adventures in the neighborhood. They have an entire secret world of activities they do that are loosely associated with the community work I do.” 

All of these activities, stories, and costumes bring joy to Lucas’s life, to Presto’s followers on Facebook, and to the people he meets in Chestnut Hill. “When I first got Presto, I found this great rhinestone jumpsuit that looked like an Elvis costume,” says Lucas. “When Presto pranced by in the costume, people had to laugh. He was a great ambassador for all dogs that day, to put a smile on people’s faces.”

This is not the only new activity that the CHCA has launched this year. It debuted its new Canine Club at this year’s Petapalooza, a membership that includes the Pawsport to the Chestnut Hill Experience. .  It offers coupons for free items and discounts to area businesses for their 4-legged club members. 

The Canine Costume Parade is a public event open to the entire community. Dogs do not need to be members of the organization’s Canine Club to “pawticipate.” They just need to be in costume.

To register for the event, go to chestnuthill.org/canine_club.php

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